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NetComposites’ 3rd biennial Composites Innovation Conference was held at the National Composites Centre, Bristol, UK, on the 4th and 5th July 2012 and provided a unique forum for the exchange of concepts and technological developments in materials, design and manufacturing to support the changing demands of industry.

Over recent years there has been a trend towards large lightweight structures in many industries including wind, aerospace, construction and mass transit. These structures however, pose considerable challenges to the designer. Material and manufacturing developments mean that fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites offer a solution to many of these challenges, exploiting in particular their high strength-to weight ratio and excellent durability properties.

David Kendall, Managing Director of Optima Projects, commented “The conference provided a healthy interaction between different industry sectors such as aerospace, marine, renewable energy, construction and bridges.  It was encouraging to see innovative developments in materials and processing to improve the efficiency of composite manufacture and new application areas such as bridges providing significant potential for growth within the composites industry.”

Andrew Mills, EPSRC Centre for Innovative Composites Manufacturing Principal Research Fellow commented on the conference “It was a really valuable event addressing challenges for future structures design and manufacture and demonstrated some novel design approaches and manufacturing technology for marine, wind energy and bridge applications.”

The conference series presented the best quality research and technical innovations alongside detailed case studies demonstrating how to effectively transfer these new technologies into commercial applications. Day one focused on Materials and Processes and Day two looked at Case Studies, Machining and Tooling, and Testing and Analysis. The conference was followed by a tour of the National Composites Centre which was also very well attended.

Sue Halliwell, NetComposites’ Knowledge Transfer Manager said “We were really pleased with the outcome of the event. It was great to hold it at The National Composites Centre enabling us to offer attendees the opportunity to look round the facility and better understand the work being undertaken there. We’re looking forward to growing the event for 2014.”

NetComposites is now looking forward to its next conference, FRP Composites in Sport, which is being held at The Studio, Birmingham, UK, on the 19th July 2012. To register please click here to download a registration form or request one from claire.whysall@netcomposites.com. Delegate places are £95 (ex VAT) each, with a student rate of £65 (ex VAT).