The focus of this project is replacing some of the current automotive parts by a stronger and lighter thermally-conductive polymer nanocomposite. This project takes advantage of the exceptional mechanical and thermal properties of graphene as a commercially viable and environmentally friendly nanomaterial, through an industrial scale process, i.e. injection molding. Therefore, the outcome of this research would technologically benefit our industrial partner, i.e. Axiom Group Inc., to sustain itself and/or to grow in the competitive market.
Recent advances in machine vision has led to new opportunities for automating that entire manufacturing pipeline. Consider, for example, the situation where an unattended computer vision system inspects the widget and decides whether or not to discard it. Even this little amount of automation can save many hundreds of person-hours on a typical factory floor. While for simple designs, we now have automated inspection methods relying upon lasers, 3D scanning or other imaging modalities that can decide if a widget has any defect. For complex designs, this ability remains elusive.
Light weighting in the automotive industry is ever becoming important. The overall objective of this research project with Axiom Group Inc. is to develop an innovative, cost-effective and industry-scale technology that can produce lightweight automotive products with good impact strengths. The project is aiming to achieve the cellular morphology to maximize weight reduction (20-30%) without sacrificing (or even while enhancing) impact properties of the product.
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