Our carbon fibre stand made its first appearance at the Advanced Engineering Show 2016

The NCC was delighted to exhibit at the Advanced Engineering Show for the fifth year running this month. This year's show ran from Wednesday 2nd to Thursday 3rd November at the NEC in Birmingham and the NCC exhibited alongside over 750 supply chain engineering exhibitors across all high performance engineering sectors. The NCC stand this year was bigger and better than ever, and even made from carbon fibre (supplied by C6(n) Technology). With a two-tier stand, we had spacious meeting space on the upper level with free coffee flowing, sponsored by Norco. 


Above: The NCC double-decker carbon fibre stand 


The NCC stand featured a range of exciting exhibits such as Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) and 3D Reinforced components from our Tier 1 Core Research Programme. Our Tier 1 Members, Airbus, GE Aviation, GKN Aerospace, LEONARDO Helicopters, QinetiQ and Rolls-Royce, shape the Core Programme, which aims to overcome challenges shared by all Members. The Automated Fibre Placement project within the Core Programme, worked with our Tier 1 Members and Tier 2 Member BAE Systems, to analyse the manufacture of bindered dry fibre based laminates using laser-assisted AFP. The 3D Reinforced Structures Core Project is a collaboration with a Tier 2 partner similarly and we worked with Sigmatex to conduct impact analysis of three different reinforcement techniques; tufting, 3D woven material and 3D woven material tufted.


Above: Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) and 3D Reinforced Structures components from the NCC Tier 1 Core Research Programme 


Our stand also showcased cutting-edge strain sensor technology developed by the University of Bristol. The HiPerDuCT Novel Hybrid Composite Overload Sensor is a patent-pending, robust, lightweight, offline sensor for detecting overload conditions. This sensor is easy to use, with no special NDT techniques or training required and can detect a range of strains from approx. 0.3 to 2%, in multiple orientations. 


Above: The HiPerDuCT Novel Hybrid Composite Overload Sensor on the Dassi Bikeframe

Above: Close-up of overload sensor retrofitted to handlebars

Above: Dr Hamish McAlpine, Project Manager at the University of Bristol, presenting the cutting-edge strain sensor technology


The HiPerDuCT sensor was displayed upon a Dassi bikeframe on which award-winning PEEK chainrings® also featured. In the lead up to the Rio Olympics of 2016, Pyramid Cycling Design, a design and prototyping consultancy specialising in cycling technology, received a last-minute request for the manufacture of additional PEEK rings®, custom carbon fibre chainrings, for the Australian Track Cycling Olympic teams. To make the startline, the rings were required within just two days, so Pyramid sought the help of the National Composites Centre and our Automated Fibre Placement (APF) capability to speed the manufacture of these Olympic specials.

Above: Award-winning PEEK chainrings®


This year at the show was a busy one, with the NCC delivering three conference sessions on the first day! Paul Gallen, Automotive Sector Lead, talked about Affordable Composites at the Automotive Forum and Nigel Keen, Business Support Engineer, spoke at the Enabling Innovation Forum about the SME support programme the NCC can offer. For more information on our SME Reach Programme, please click here. Joe Elford, Research Engineer at the NCC, and Ffion Martin, EngD student at the University of Nottingham, presented their work on the Jaguar Land Rover Technology Demonstrator project. For this work, the NCC and Jaguar Land Rover were shortlisted for the Innovation in Manufacturing Award at the Composites UK Awards Dinner. 


Above: Full house with Paul Gallen, Automotive Sector Lead, presenting on Affordable Composites at the Automotive Forum

Above: Nigel Keen, Business Support Engineer, presenting at the Enabling Innovation Forum about the NCC SME support programme

Above: Joe Elford, Research Engineer at the NCC, presenting on his work on the Jaguar Land Rover Technology Demonstrator 

Later that evening, the NCC was delighted to attend the Composites UK Industry Awards Dinner at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham to celebrate the achievements of our peers in the UK composites industry and to see how we got on in three of our award shortlistings: Innovation in Manufacturing, Employer of the Year and Apprentice of the Year. The competition was tough and unfortunately we didn’t scoop top prizes, however it was a great achievement to get shortlisted and we are very proud to see the hard work of our employees getting recognised by the wider composites industry. This was a fantastic event and the NCC is glad to be involved. We look forward to attending next year.


Above: Networking Reception

Above: Paul Gallen, Automotive Sector Lead

Above: Dr Hamish McAlpine, Project Manager at the University of Bristol and Dr Kalyan Hazra, Sector Lead at the NCC

Above (left to right): Stephen Suddell (NCC), Tom Egan (Leonardo Helicopters), Steve Burgess (Rolls Royce), Simon Weeks (ATI)

Above: Mark Bowering, Head of Capability, letting his inner child out! 

Above: The NCC Table at the Dinner

Above: Peter Chivers, Chief Executive, presenting an award at the Dinner


Further photos from the event can be found here.

The show was incredibly useful and each visit to our stand brought a new opportunity. Now we're back in the office, the NCC Strategy and Business Development team are following up on the conversations and large number of enquiries we had, so if you did pop along to the stand, expect to hear from the team soon!

 +44 (0) 117 370 7600