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Essais & Simulations n°140

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Des moyens essais pour répondre aux enjeux et exigences de l'industrie.


DOSSIERSPÉCIAL JEC WORLDRESEARCHIPC wants to acceleratein the recycling of compositematerials and researchGilles Dennler, the new Director of Research at IPC, theindustrial technical centre dedicated to plastic and compositeinnovation, which took over from Bertrand Fillon last winter,has taken over the reins of a structure of nearly 130 employeesinvolved in numerous French and especially Europeanprojects. Among the technical centre's priorities are reducingproduction costs and, now at the forefront, recycling compositematerials.Gilles DennlerGilles Dennler holds an engineering degree in materialsphysics from Insa Lyon, a Ph.D. in Plasma Physicsfrom Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse and a Engineering Physics from Ecole Polytechnique deMontréal. In 2003, he joined the University of Linz(Austria) where he holds a position as assistant professorin physical chemistry. He was recruited in 2006 by thestart-up Konarka, dedicated to the development andcommercialization of polymer solar cells. There he held the position of Director ofResearch (Lowell, MA, USA) and worked closely with Prof. Alan Heeger (UCSB), NobelLaureate in Chemistry and founder of the company. In 2011, he will take over thedirection of the Materials Laboratory of the Minoru Institute for Advanced Research(IMRA, Sophia-Antipolis), which is part of the Toyota group. He joins IPC in 2018 asDeputy Research Director for Major Programs (circular economy, new energies,mobility, well-being). Gilles Dennler has published around a hundred scientificarticles and filed around thirty patents.value-added production, such as "smartcomposites" with embedded intelligenceand sensory capture or IoT. "Thefactory of the future is to be built andnew products with high added value areneeded to increase the competitiveness ofour industrial branch," explains GillesDennler. IPC's mission is to help plasticsand composites companies meet thesetechnological challenges and prepare forthe future through innovation.STRONG INVOLVEMENT INRESEARCH PROJECTS"The transition to a circular economyhas become a national priority".IPC's new R&D director could notbe clearer. "The place of compositesis part of a context of “plastic bashing”which is pushing us to move towardsthe circular economy. This circularityof materials has become a very importantissue in recent years becausealthough composite materials haveintrinsic qualities that enable them toincrease the life of parts, they are neverthelessvery difficult to recycle". Theissue of recycling is felt at the end of aproduct's life but also at the productionstage when parts are scrapped. Froma production point of view, the trendis always towards lower costs; "to thisend, we are carrying out projects to transposetechniques borrowed from the plasticsindustry to the composites industry".In terms of actual research, in additionto the growing theme of the circulareconomy, the CTI is also focusingon the industry of the future and highDeployed on seven sites (Levallois, thehead office, IPC Alençon, IPC Chambéry,IPC Clermont, IPC Laval, IPCOyonnax and IPC Sainte-Sigolène), theIPC teams spread throughout France areheavily involved in French and, aboveall, European projects, with no less thaneighteen in total committed to the OldContinent (i.e. nearly three-quarters ofthe total number of projects carried outeach year). Among them is Hyprod, aproject on the development of highspeedproduction means for smartcomposites. "As part of this project, we44 IESSAIS & SIMULATIONS • N°140 • février - mars 2020

DOSSIERare conducting mechanical tests andpredictive calculation operations on theimpact of embedded electronics on thepart"; work to which we are adding ourskills in the fields of product design,injection and stamping simulation,thermal measurement of tools, hot/coldregulation and material characterizationon specimens. Launched in 2013, thisproject is entering its final year.Another example, the Oasis projectconsists of creating an eco-systemcapable of supporting, generatingand carrying out the developmentof multi-functional products basedon nanotechnologies. As part of theHyprod approach aimed at supportingmanufacturers throughout the smartcomposite development chain, IPC ispooling two pilot (pre-production)lines, one installed on the Oyonnax sitefor a hybrid plastic-composite process,the other in Laval on an RTM process.In the field of 3D printing, IPC is notto be outdone. Historically specializedin the manufacture of metal additiveson tools, the technical center has justlaunched a joint venture with Addup, aFrench specialist in the sector formedby Fives and Michelin. The purpose ofthis structure is to produce metal partsfor industrial tools. In the field of 3Dplastic printing this time, IPC is involvedin Printer; operational since lastyear, the platform has already acquireda machine for printing hybrid polymerand composite fasteners. ●Olivier GuillonESSAIS & SIMULATIONS • N°140 • Février - Mars 2020 I45

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