We conduct research on a wide range of lightweight and high-strength composite materials, such as CFRP, from the fundamentals to applications.
The Division of Composite Materials Engineering promotes research on composite materials with members who have extensive knowledge of materials and structures. Composite materials have been mainly used in the aerospace field, but their adoption in the automotive industry has been increasing in recent years, and their application to flying mobility is expected to expand inthe future (Fig.１). In order to utilize composite materials in these new industrial fields, new design, evaluation, and molding methods specific to CFRP are required. In this division, research is being conducted with a particular focus on simulation technology and new forming methods.
Simulation technology ranges from material simulation at the atomic and molecular level to fracture analysis at the structural level, and is studied in parallel with experimental verification. With the recent improvements in computer performance, numerical analysis has become an important tool, and we are benefiting from it.
As a new forming method, we are focusing on 3D printing of composite materials (Fig.2). Conventional composite molding relies on the know-how of skilled craftsmen and molds, and as a result, it is difficult to produce a wide variety of products. On the other hand, general thermoplastic resinlaminated 3D printers have low mechanical properties of resin, making it difficult to fabricate aerospace and automotive product-level structures. However, recent progress in research on carbon fiber composite 3D printers has solved these problems, and high-strength 3D modeling for automotive and aerospace applications is now possible. In this division, research is being conducted on new optimal design methods applicable to carbon fiber composite 3D printers, understanding the mechanism of molding by 3D printing, and functionalization.
The division emphasizes industry-academia collaboration and serves as a partner for commissioned and joint research to meet the needs of industry. We also focus on training engineers in composite materials. Our goal is to create synergies between the university and industry by producing a large number of ready-to-work engineers who have acquired skills through research. Our research division is characterized by education and research activities based on strong collaboration between industry and academia.