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4.8 Composite material laboratory for aeronautic field


The main activity of the laboratory is research &development in the composite materials area, targeting especially the aeronautic field applications. Understanding of composite materials and their structures requires a thorough knowledge of basic materials, their precursors. Knowledge about the behavior reinforcement (long, short, continuous, discontinuous fibers, particles, etc.) and matrices (thermoplastic, thermosetting resins, ceramic, etc.) is essential for understanding the complexity of manufacturing processes. The development, the study of composite materials, the manufacturing of laminates / parts / structures from composites using autoclave technology, currently considered as the most performing and the structural / mechanical characterization of composite materials through laboratory tests, using INCDT COMOTI infrastructure and equipment’s, are the main activities of the composite material laboratory.

The laboratory is able to accomplish and provide a complete technological cycle of manufacturing for laminates / parts from composites starting from design of laminates/parts and also of the moulds, selection of materials (composites, cores for structures, metallic insertions, etc.); structural / mechanical characterization of composite materials; manufacturing of molds in collaboration with Technology Research COMOTI department, manufacturing of composite laminates/parts using autoclave technology; laboratory testing (mechanical testing in static and dynamic structural tests, microscopy, etc.).


Autoclave for composite materials polymerization (SCHOLZ/2010)

  • Main characteristics: Temperature max. 400°C; Pressure max.20 bari; vacuum
  • Usable diameter: 1500 mm; usable length: 2500 mm; Load Agent: hot air
  • Operation: 400V/50Hz 3/PE
  • Control: 230V/50Hz/24V DC
  • Equipment Power: approximately 314 kW
  • Circular water consumption: 32,5 m³ / h at 32 ° C max
  • Water flow pressure: min. 3 bar, max 6bar
  • Air control equipment: 8-10 bar pressure
  • The incoming compressed air in the autoclave: max. 40 bars
  • Pressure: 0-20 bar
  • Speed variation / increase in temperature (20 ° C -400 ° C): max.10 ° C / min
  • Speed variation / decrease in temperature (400 ° C-65 ° C): max.10 ° C / min
  • Charging / charge maximum 20 kg composite; 100kg aluminum 350 kg steel (chariot)

Cold room

  • Temperature: -18 °C
  • Dimensions: 1200x1200x2000mm,
  • Switchboard that allows setting the temperature and permanent view of the work temperature

Composite materials laboratory testing (using physics and mechanic testing laboratory facilities):

Universal mechanical testing machine: Instron 8802

  • Force cell: 250kN; 25kN
  • Strain Measurement with extensometers, strain gauge data acquisition system, LVDT for displacement measurements
  • Hydraulic grip
  • Tensile, compression, bending devices
  • Furnace (temperature max. 1000°C) used for high temperature metallic materials testing)
  • Software BlueHill and WaveMatrix (Instron)
  • Materials: Steel, Plastics, Composite, Wood, textile materials

Static regime:

  • Tensile
  • Compression
  • Bending

Dynamic regime:

  • Fatigue: Low Cycle Fatigue and High Cycle Fatigue (LCF and HCF)
  • Fracture mechanics: KIC (plain strain fracture toughness), CTOD; (crack tip opening displacement), J integral, etc.

High Resolution Scanning Electron Microscope FEI Inspect F50 (Field Emission Gun)

  • Resolution: 1,2 nm; acceleration voltage: max. 30 KV
  • Microstructural high resolution investigations on: metals, ceramics, glasses, polymers, geological samples, etc.
  • Nanomaterials, thin films observations, fracture surfaces examination
  • X-ray spectrometry (EDS annalyses): identification and quantitative evaluation of chemical elements in samples, on structural elements: precipitates, inclusions, etc., evaluation of compositional gradients.

Olympus optical microscope GX (max.1000x)

  • Usual microstructural analyses on metallographic samples
  • Identification of metallographic phases and constituents
  • Quantitative evaluation of structural elements

Impact/ drop weight impact machine Dynatup 9250NV Instron

  • Power cell with self-identification of the total weight of the sleeper, including additional weights, maximum speed of falling: from 4.5 to 5.5 m/s
  • Maximum speed at assisted fall by the hair bows: 18 to 22 m/s
  • Speed accuracy: ± 0.1%
  • Maximum height of fall: 1200 - 1300 mm
  • Sleeper positioning accuracy ± 0.02 mm (or 0.05 % of reading)
  • The position repeatability: ± 0.015 mm
  • Energy impact: 4.6 to 945 J (with additional weights)
  • Speed of movement of the sleeper to reactivate test: 1550 to 1650 mm/min
  • E nvironmental, climatic chamber with an operating range of -60°C to 200°C


Composite material laboratory staff was and is still involved in research projects with various topics, derived from the metallic and composite materials, turbo-engines, aircraft structures and aircraft components, environment domains.

National Projects

  • NUCLEU-PN/2009 - 09.07.07 - Development of technologies for blade machine 7.1 - Research on the development of composite materials for blade machines. The composite material laboratory team was responsible for three phases during this project:
    - Phase B17 / Numerical simulations of thermal and mechanical solicitations in order to choose the composite structure materials
    - Phase B18 / Development and assessment of preliminary working procedures and instructions, technical training on working technique
    - Phase B19 / Manufacturing of composite components and experimental testing. Interpretation of results obtained and assessment of strengths and weaknesses

International Projects

  • OPENAIR ”Optimization for low Environmental Noise impact AIRcraft” FP7-234313 (2009-2013). Within this project period 2009-2011 , the composite team manufactured a serie of demonstrators (prototypes) representing stator blades made from advanced composite materials, lighter than the classic metallic materials. These prototypes represents a novelty at national but also international level because it integrates performant technologies that targets decreasing the weight for civil aicrafts aiming reducing fuel consumption and environemnetl impact, but also noise reduction technologies for reducing the impact of aircrafts on communities around airports. The physical manufacturing of the stator blades has been the result of team complex reserches, which involved performing a complete technological cycle cstarting from design&geometry, stress analysis, processing and testing the composite materials up to the manufacturing of the blade using the autoclave technology, within the composite material laboratory in INCDT COMOTI. Activity of the institute in this project was completed in May 2011, by providing the prototype – composite stator blade, to the project coordinator, the group Snecma, France. The encouraging results obtained led to the engagement of the institute COMOTI for another 2 years in this project (2011-2013).
  • CLEANDANUBE „Common strategy to prevent the Danube’s pollution technological risks with oil and oil products” 2(2I)-2.2-5 Priority Axis: 2 program Cross Border Cooperation Romania - Bulgaria 2007-2013, ctr. No. 653/2010. The composite material laboratory stuff is involved both in scientific and technical activities: selection of materials in the design construction of the project promoted equipment (centrifuges), finding the best technological solutions for the reduction of the Danube water pollution, progress reporting and dissemination activities: organizing and participating meetings, workshops organized both in Romania and Bulgaria, making promotion posters and flyers for the results dissemination of the project.
  • SANDI “ Support Actions to create New RDI partnerships in trans-border area in order to bring together Business and Research for accessing European Founds”, program Cross Border Cooperation Romania – Bulgaria, 2(3i)-3.1-13-MIS –ETC CODE: 211-Ctr. 51766/06.07.2011 . Since the project beginning up to present, composite material laboratory stuff has been involved in team activities to promote training opportunities / training foreign students (Bulgaria) in the composite material laboratory within materials science field and in particular composite materials (powerpoint presentations and dissemination University of Rousse, Bulgaria).
  • TURBOMAT , ID 663, SMIS-CSNR 12607 : “Development of new methods by real and virtual solidification processing of materials with special properties to achieve high temperatures for power turbo engines” POSCCE-A2-O2.1.2-2009-2. From the beginning to the project up to present, the composite material laboratory team was involved in: microstructural analysis and testing of alloys studied, Pro-Cast Using virtual solidification, interpretation of results and reporting of project progress.

The strategic directions and the objectives of the scientific research in composite material laboratory, on short and medium term targets to develop new composite materials with special properties for both aeronautics applications (integration of these materials in hot areas of the aircraft - turbine - to increase performance) but also for environmental applications (including sound), energy (wind turbines), and space vehicles.


  • AGIR 2010 price awarded by the General Association of Romanian Engineers in the field of „Materials Engineering” - Details
  • Within the Openair FP7-234313, european project the visibility of romanian research incresed at international level. The s cientific results of the project were presented together with the project coordinator, Mr. Eugene Kors SNECMA, France in a film financed by the European Commission and distributed to the sixth European Aeronautic Days "Aerodays 2011", Madrid, Spain.

    Eugene Kors at Snecama expositional stand at "Aerodays 2011" presenting the compozite stator blade manufactured by INCDT COMOTI
  • COMOTI was invited to present the composite stator blade manufactured ​​in the project Openair, at the International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, 49th June 20 to 26, 2011.

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