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Hexcel and Mines St-Etienne launch research into digital modelling for new-generation composite structures

A newly launched academic chair will carry out research into simulation of resin vacuum infusion process in primary structures for the aerospace industry.

15th October 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Dagneux


Hexcel Corporation, the leading manufacturers of advanced composites, and Mines St Etienne School of Engineering have launched a new industrial academic chair that will carry out research into the digital modelling and simulation of resin vacuum infusion process in primary structures for the aerospace industry.

More specifically, it will include modelling on multi-scale (from microns to meters) and the multi-physical (solid, fluid and porous media mechanics, physical chemistry of polymers, thermal physics).

The Mines St Etienne School of Engineering has existed for 200 years. With five training and research centres, it has fully capitalized on its traditional areas of expertise, which include materials, mechanics, and process engineering.

Enhancing theoretical knowledge

Hexcel decided to involve Mines St Etienne in its research programme in order to enhance theoretical knowledge of the vacuum infusion process and help users to understand the process, so as to make appropriate evaluations for the manufacture of their structural components.

Hexcel Corporation is the leading manufacturer of advanced composites. The company develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high performance composites including carbon fibres, reinforcements, prepregs, honeycomb, matrix systems, adhesives and composite structures for use in commercial aerospace, space and defense, wind energy and industrial applications.

The chair is sponsored by Hexcel customers, Paulin Fideu, R&D Technologies Manager at Airbus and Patrick Henrat, Director of Technologies at Safran Composites.

High-level academic research

The project is a perfect opportunity for Mines St Etienne to further its mission of developing high-level academic research, with the goal of delivering applications for industry.

Professor Sylvain Drapier will head the chair and will supervise five theses prepared by experts in aerospace engineering, mechanics, digital methods and applied mathematics.

The chair was launched in the presence of:

  • Luc Rousseau, Vice-Chairman of the Department for Economy, Industry, Energy and Technologies at the French Ministry of Economy
  • Philippe Jamet, CEO of Institut Mines Telecom
  • Yvon Raak, Chairman of the Board at MINES Saint-Etienne
  • Pascal Ray, Director of MINES Saint-Etienne
  • Dominique Badel, President of the I3M.SE foundation, honorary president of ESSO SAF
  • Thierry Merlot, Hexcel Vice President and General Manager Europe/Asia-Pacific
  • Paul Mackenzie, Hexcel Vice President R & T

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