Growing abroad

There is no doubt that CATEC has become one of the most advanced technological centres in Spain and a reference in R&D in Europe, especially in areas such as drones and unmanned systems, robotics and industry 4.0, additive manufacturing (3D printing) or non-destructive inspection, which are already marking the present and future of the aerospace industry and other important productive sectors. And not because we say it, but the results that we have achieved throughout our 11 years of history and professional trajectory talk by themselves.

We announced some days ago a new milestone in the history of FADA-CATEC, and especially in our internationalization and growth process towards foreign markets. This is no other than the first project in the field of technological developments in 3D printing outside the European continent, thanks to the collaboration with the company INVAP Argentina, which means our leap crossing the ocean to Latin America, precisely in an area of great value such as components and parts manufacturing for satellites and launchers for the space sector.

In a year in which precisely the city of Seville is assuming and leading the presidency of the Community of Ariane Cities (CVA), and Andalusia is boosting its growth in the aeronautical sector reached in the last decade, we are convinced that this new CATEC project will contribute to show the high technological and industrial capacity that our industry has and to continue encouraging our companies to keep on on this good path, betting on R&D and high added value activities.

The latest figures for the year 2017 are again clear and consolidate Andalusia as a region that has not stopped growing in turnover, employment and exports in the aerospace sector, and that already faces the future with new challenges and illusions. The new strategic plan of the sector must be a key element in all this, and the base for the Andalusian aerospace sector to continue growing abroad, with the support of all the agents involved and with the R&D and the promotion of innovation as main allies. Only this way will strengthen our position as a of the fastest growing industries in the European and international level, and with better prospects for the coming years.

Joaquín Rodríguez Grau
Director of CATEC

Technology

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM)


CATEC is a specialist in this technology and has developed some solutions and tools for its implementation in service in aerospace industry


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SHM is a set of techniques aimed to minoring the health of structures during their useful life. This monitoring detects some changes in the material or in the geometric conditions of the system that may negatively affect their qualities.

This process is organized in four levels:

1) Determination the presence of damages in the structure.
(2) Geometric location of the damage.
(3) Quantification of the intensity.
(4) Prediction of the remaining life of the analyzed element.

In order to perform all these actions it is required a network of sensors distributed on the structure under examination and connected to a central system that provides real-time information on the state of the component, such as fiber optic technology and FBG sensors.

The FBG (Fiber Bragg Grating) sensors basically consist of a "marking" that is included directly on the lines of optical fiber (marked of Bragg). The behavior of the Bragg sensors is analogous to that of a filter, that is, it reflects a certain wavelength of light that illuminates the optical fiber and lets the rest pass. By changing the wavelength reflected by the sensor it is possible to determine the deformation state to which the structure is subjected. In addition, the same fiber optic line can contain up to about 40-60 sensors, drastically reducing the number of lines to be used to monitor various points on the structure.

CATEC is a specialist in this technology and has developed some solutions and tools for its implementation in service. The technology is available for both the sensing and monitoring of various structures and for the monitoring of structural tests.

Sources: CATEC (FERNANDEZ R., GUTIERREZ N., JIMENEZ H., MARTIN F., RUBIO L., JIMENEZ-VICARIA J., PAULOTTO C., LASAGNI F.: On the Structural Testing Monitoring of CFRP cockpit and concrete/CFRP pillar by FBG sensors, Advanced Engineering Materials, Volume 18, Issue 7, 1289-1298, 2016.)

For more information about this technology, you can contact to Materials & Processes: materiales@catec.aero



April 18th 2017
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