Research Teams

Polymer and Composites Technology

The overall objective is to create and transfer the knowledge on composite-intensive primary structures that meet weight, cost and production rate requirements. The activity is organized around three research domains:

1) Advanced Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM); Thermoplastic RTM (TP-RTM), Compression RTM (CRTM), Fibre Metal Laminate RTM (FML-RTM).

2) Ultraviolet curing technology applied to; Pultrusion, Automatic Tape Laying (ATL), Filament Winding.

3) Deformation and fracture of polymer and composites; Stamp forming, Impact/damage simulation, Morphing.

In PKT emphasis is placed on application-oriented research and the development of products to pilot production level. Automotive (PSA-Citröen, CIDIA), Railway (CAF), Civil Engineering (Acciona Infraestructuras, ULMA Construcción), Tooling Machine (Danobat, Trimek) and Sport (Orbea) are some of the most representative industrial partners.

PKT has state-of-the-art technology and equipment to meet the needs of application oriented research and development.

Training of young researchers (undergraduates and doctorates) and professionals form the industry is also a nuclear activity of the research group.

Onging projects

  1. LIGHTCARBONCARS: Automotive lightweighting by low cost carbon fiber composites.
  2. CAFI: High fatigue and impact strength carbon fiber composites for automotive industry.
  3. CRASHINT: Crashworthiness of themoplastic matrix smart composites.
  4. AutoRTM: Thermoplastic RTM composites for automotive industry.
  5. MICROINJECT: Microinjection of plastics.
  6. Design and manufacturing of scaffolds for tissue engineering based on biopolymer nanocomposites.
  7. 3Rs: Composites from renewable polymer and reinforcements (Reference CIT-420000-2008-18)


Recent publications

  1. The role of POSS on the thermo-mechanical properties of polyoxymethylene copolymer based nanocomposites [J. Nanosci. Nanotech., acepted 18 Mars 2009].
  2. Strain rate effect on interlaminar shear strength of carbon fibre reinforced epoxy and pCBT composites [ICCM-17 (2009) Edinburgh].
  3. Setting up of pull-out test at impact strain rates for SMA wire/pCBT adaptive composite [ICCM-17 (2009) Edinburgh].
  4. Constitutive model taking into account the strain rate for uniaxial NiTi SMA under low velocity impact conditions [Smart Mater. Struct., 17 (2008) doi:10.1088/0964-1726/17/6/065033].
  5. Effects of microstructure on wear behaviour of wood reinforced polypropylene composite [Wear 265 (2008) 606].
  6. Iso-strain rate material behaviour curves applied to the finite element impact simulation [Polym. Testing 27 (2008) 84].
  7. Electroactive pressure sensors for smart structures [Adv. Sci. Tech. 56 (2008) 122].
  8. Comparison between the dynamical properties of polymer concrete and grey cast iron for machine tool applications [Mater. Design 28 (2007) 1461].
  9. Novel all polymer microfluidic devices monolithically integrated within metallic electrodes for SDS-CGE of proteins [J. Micromech. and Microeng. 17 (2007) 1289].
  10. Effect of dissolution based recycling on the degradation and the mechanical properties of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene [Polym. Degr. Stab. 91 (2006) 2768].
  11. Failure of multimaterial fusion bonding interface generated during over-injection molding/thermoforming hybrid process [J. App. Polymer Sci. 102 (2006) 261].
  12. Characterisation of the impact behaviour of polymer thermoplastics [Polym. Testing 24 (2005)145].



Materials characterization

•    Mechanical testing: Instrumented falling weight (4.6 m/s, 70 kg, 755J, -70÷150 ºC) and pendulum impact test, Fatigue (100 kN, -120÷315 ºC), Static tensile/bending/fracture (1÷400 kN) tests, Tribometre.

•    Microstructure: Low vacuum SEM, C-SCAN phased array, High and low speed infrared cameras, DSC.

Processing equipment on lab scale

•    Plastic: Injection moulding (60 Tm), Mini-injection (maximum load 14 g), Thermoforming (400 x 400 mm2).

•    Composite: Thermosetting and thermoplastic RTM, Filament winding, Pultrusion, Stamp forming.






Laurentzi Aretxabaleta (