Composites Technology Forum for UK Defence

The Composites Technology Forum for UK Defence brings together large industry primes, academia and SMEs to share knowledge, expertise and opportunities for future collaboration. It will facilitate technical exchange between leading organisations in the industry to drive innovation and help position the UK as the global epicentre for composites in the defence sector.

Composites for defence help keep Britain safe and are one of our key export industries. Next generation weapon systems, future air combat, land-based military vehicles and the UK’s naval ships and submarines need to be made cheaper, lighter and more efficient but just as reliable, durable and safe. With the correct research and development, composites technology makes this possible while also opening up new opportunities for embedding functionality.

The NCC is leading the forum to provide a collaborative space for the participating OEMs to deliver materials and manufacturing challenges from their corporate strategies and future major programmes to the UK supply chain. In response, the NCC will support and develop the UK supply community responses to these challenges, bringing forward innovative and world-beating composite technologies.

The forum will discuss the next steps in composites technology development for the defence sector. It has a specific vision to foster the transfer of novel composites technology between stakeholders from each of the land, sea and air operational domains, across which the NCC has already identified common materials and manufacturing challenges.

Forum participants

The Composites Technology Forum for UK Defence is made up of large defence primes, SMEs from the defence sector, Ministry of Defence executive agencies as well as academia, including:

Working research and technology themes

The first forum meeting is taking place at the NCC on 10 November 2021 and will introduce the forum steering board while also outlining a number of priority research and technology themes that will be explored:

  1. Composites for increased durability
    • Low velocity impact
    • Blast protection
    • Ballistic protection
    • Shock loading
  1. Composites for resistance to environmental exposure
    • Marine environment (surface and sub)
    • Acoustic fatigue
    • Fire resistance / containment
    • Ionizing and non-ionizing radiation
  1. Composites for survival in high service temperatures
    • High Tg polymer matrix composites (Tg >250degC)
    • Ceramic Matrix Composites
  1. Novel technologies for reducing the costs of composites in defence applications
    • Manufacturing automation for low volume
    • Reducing part development time
    • Integrated structures
    • Rapid prototyping
    • Digital tools for virtual testing and process modelling
  1. Joining of composites
    • Composites to composites
    • Composites to metals
  1. Novel and emerging composite materials and emerging manufacturing technologies
    • Smart materials
    • Nano materials
    • Meta materials
    • New manufacturing processes / technology

Further information

For more information about the Composites Technology Forum for UK Defence, to express an interest to be involved with future forum sessions or to hear more about the NCC’s work in defence across the UK, please contact the team on [email protected]

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