15 July 2021
The National Composites Centre (NCC) is delighted to welcome five new Members, including two from the Space sector.
Gravitilab (formerly Raptor Aerospace Ltd.), the leading commercial suborbital rocket company in the UK., and Space Forge, a UK start-up looking to lead the clean industrial revolution by harnessing space, have both joined the NCC’s SME Affiliate Membership scheme. The scheme offers UK SMEs affordable enhanced benefits, including access to the NCC’s ‘beyond’ state-of the-art technology, specialist training and networking opportunities.
Through its evolving range of launch vehicles and innovative microgravity solutions, Gravitilab is providing the space industry with commercial launch, research and testing facilities. It has an established fleet of launch vehicles capable of carrying small payloads to 15km, and has already begun flight testing vehicles that will be space capable, achieving altitudes in excess of 100km. It focusses on providing more flexible and more cost-effective access to microgravity environments to facilitate commercial research and testing.
Space Forge is a UK start-up leading the clean industrial revolution by harnessing In-Orbit manufacturing in space. Space Forge is developing fully reusable satellites that are designed for manufacturing next generation advanced materials in space, for return to Earth. These materials will be used to help move to low carbon technologies. Their revolutionary technology reduces the cost of re-entry and will enable satellites to be refurbished for the first time ever. The new ‘advanced-materials’ created in space will reduce energy loss and make vehicles lighter to assist carbon dioxide emissions back on planet Earth.
Also joining as Members are Electroimpact (Associate), AUS Ltd. (Tier 2) and Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials (Tier 2 Associates).
Electroimpact is a world leader in design and manufacturing, specialising in the integration of automation and tooling into synergistic production solutions. Their wide range of projects include complete automation assembly systems for commercial aircraft wings, riveting machines and tools for wing panel and fuselage assembly, advanced fibre placement machines, robotic assembly systems, and spacecraft handling equipment. They have most recently collaborated with the NCC on the new Automated Fibre Placement-Automated Tape Lay Up (AFP-ATL) capability, a uniquely designed dual system that allows AFP and ATL to be used individually or together to collaborate and create large, complex structures with minimal downtime.
Founded in 1998 and now employing more than 50 highly experienced staff, AUS Ltd manufacture, distribute and supply specialist equipment to the Rail, Electrical Supply, Telecommunications and Arboriculture industries, with customers including Network Rail and the National Grid.
Industry professionals know that innovation and industry development is always important, but AUS have a genuine passion for turning ideas into reality. Their current project is a footbridge for railway level crossings made from fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) with a novel jointing system. This means an environmentally friendly bridge as strong and stiff as steel whilst being approximately 60% lighter. Previous successful innovations include a link box protection blanket; a product that mitigates against the threat of exploding electricity link boxes in city centres.
Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials (MCAM) is a global manufacturer of high-performance thermoplastic materials, carbon fibre and thermoset composite solutions. With a broad portfolio of products and advanced technologies, MCAM helps move global engineering projects from prototype into production, addressing the high productivity and cost-effective needs of key aerospace, transport and capital goods markets. MCAM’s portfolio includes high quality recycled polymer materials, fibres and bio-based resins, providing customers greater access to sustainable materials and systems to lower their carbon footprint. MCAM will be an associate member to the NCC and their network, collaborating across the entire design and production journey to increase speed, reliability and value.
Find out more about an NCC Membership here.