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Nature’s secrets lead award winning research into high performance metal-composite joints

11 April 2016

 

The way English ivy clings to walls, tree trunks is mimicked by RMIT researchers

The way English ivy clings to walls, tree trunks is mimicked by RMIT researchers seeking to improve metallic-composite joint design.

Research mimicing the way biological systems such as the English Ivy plant  join dissimilar materials has led to an innovative solution for high performance metal-composite joints, and  earned the RMIT research team the Advanced Composites Structures Society Best Paper Award at the 2016 Advanced Composites Innovation Conference in Melbourne.

Dr Adrian Orifici, an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at RMIT University, accepted the award on behalf of his co-authors Alex T.T. Nguyen, Stefanie Feih and Professor Milan Brandt.

Prof Murray Scott presents the ACSS Best Paper Award to Dr Adrian Orifici

Prof Murray Scott presents the ACSS Best Paper Award to Dr Adrian Orifici

Presenting the award at the conference dinner tonight (Wednesday 13 April) ACSS President Professor Murray Scott said the paper, Bio-Inspired Metal-Composite Hybrid Joints, was judged to be the best contribution to the conference’s refereed paper stream, as it was a well-written report on an innovative design concept that had potential to improve the efficiency and cost of structures requiring metal-composite joints.

As the aerospace industry seeks to increase the proportion of advanced composite materials to reduce aircraft weight and improve fuel efficiency, Dr Orifici and his team sought to find a solution to the challenge of joining metallic to composite parts using the advanced manufacturing technique selective laser melting (SLM).

The team co-cured carbon-epoxy laminates to an SLM-manufactured metallic part, with three joining techniques.  They found that each technique is effective at producing high performing joints on its own, and that the three techniques can be combined to produce a

A pictorial representation of the materials used to construct the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Source: Modern Airliners.com

A pictorial representation of the materials used to construct the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Source: Modern Airliners.com

hierarchical joint system, demonstrating an innovative design concept that has potential to improve the efficiency and cost of structures requiring metal-composite joints.

You can read the abstract to the paper and Dr Orifici’s resume at this link …