National Composites Centre and Bristol Composites Institute

The NCC and the Bristol Composites Institute, part of the University of Bristol, together form a world-leading composites research and development hub.  Working together, with research specialisms spanning from fundamental science to industrial application, they address complex global challenges for the benefit of UK industry and society.

Contact us on [email protected] to find out more.



Work with us

Cryogenic Hydrogen Permeability Testing Methods

Read more about Cryogenic Hydrogen Permeability Testing Methods

Cryogenic Hydrogen Permeability Testing Methods

To store Hydrogen for commercial aerospace applications, it must be cooled to cryogenic temperatures so that it condenses to a liquid and occupies less space.

Therefore, as well as being strong and lightweight, the containers for storing cryogenic Hydrogen must be made out of materials that prevent these tiny Hydrogen molecules from leaking at very low, and cyclically varying, temperatures.

This collaboration, led by Matt Kay at the National Composites Centre and Lui Terry at the University of Bristol, will develop methods that subject strong, lightweight carbon fibre composites to these temperatures, and assess how easily Hydrogen can permeate through the material - with a view of moving towards a widely-adopted standard.

Towards Circularity with Automated Layup of Discontinuous Recycled Carbon Fibre

Read more about Towards Circularity with Automated Layup of Discontinuous Recycled Carbon Fibre

Towards Circularity with Automated Layup of Discontinuous Recycled Carbon Fibre

Lineat and iCOMAT are two prominent success stories from the NCC/BCI partnership.

Both are spinouts from patents developed in BCI research that have subsequently received input and support from the NCC via its Technology Pull-Through and Core Programmes, and more.

Collaboration is central to this Bristol success story, where the materials science and process design expertise at the University met the industrialisation and scale-up required to make an impact at the NCC.

Both startups are going strong, with Lineat's phase 3 machine producing pilot-scale material in NCC's Filton facility, and iCOMAT on the brink of supplying their novel automated layup machines enabling defect-free fibre steering process.

The potential to combine the HiPerDiF and Continuous Tow Shearing technologies, that underpin the spin-outs, was previously demonstrated at BCI within a feasibility study funded by the EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub.

Now the NCC Core Programme has brought them together, to lay up Lineat's highly-aligned discontinuous fibre tapes with iCOMAT’s novel fibre steering process - with a view to unlocking the use of recycled material for a wider variety of products - together reducing weight, cost and environmental impact.


The NCC and BCI are both part of the European research project, D-STANDART.

The aim of D-STANDART is to develop efficient methods to test and model the durability of large-scale composite structures of any design under realistic conditions, incorporating sustainability and digital methodologies.

Advanced composites play a crucial role in efforts to achieve a carbon-neutral future as enablers of resistant, lightweight and therefore energy-efficient structures, for example, in the aerospace and wind turbine sectors.

To unlock the full potential of composites to reduce structural weight and extend lifetime, thereby reducing environmental impact, the D-STANDART project will tackle the problem from three angles:

  • By accelerating the characterisation of the fatigue properties of composite materials.
  • By eliminating the need to test each type of lay-up individually.
  • By developing the modelling capability to relate the behaviour of large-scale structures with complex geometries and potential manufacturing defects, to the results of coupon tests.

Work for us

  • Read more about BCI Careers

    BCI Careers

    There are multiple ways to engage with Bristol Composites Institute, from funding a PhD student, to collaborative research and even joining our summer internship scheme.

  • Read more about NCC Careers

    NCC Careers

    Whether you're joining the NCC through our Graduate scheme or as an engineer with over 20 years of experience, you'll be working with some of the brightest minds on solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing industry and the uptake of composite materials. 

  • Read more about EngD Scheme

    EngD Scheme

    The Engineering Doctorate (EngD) in Composites Manufacture is a four-year doctorate programme for researchers who aspire to key leadership positions in industry. The programme provides a challenging, multi-disciplinary and academically rigorous education and training experience, leading to a recognised postgraduate qualification.

NCC and BCI Events

  • Read more about ICCM 23

    ICCM 23

    Come and see the NCC and Bristol Composites Institute at the International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM) – Stand 10. We’re also delighted to be presenting across the conference programme, which is being held in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from July 30th to August 4th 2023.

  • Read more about NCC and BCI Annual Conference

    NCC and BCI Annual Conference

    Join the Bristol Composites Institute and the National Composites Centre for our annual joint conference on Thursday 16 November 2023, hosted at the Wills Hall Conference Centre in Bristol.

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