HARVEST is an ambitious Research & Innovation Action project, aiming at developing multifunctional composite materials capable of SHM, energy harvesting and self-repairing targeting the aeronautics sector. In HARVEST, each constituent material is selected so as to impart specific functionalities aiming at providing the aerospace sector with a safer, more economic and environmentally friendly structural material.
HARVEST is a 36 month project that will cover the whole value chain of Fiber Reinforced Plastics (FRPs) so as to provide novel FRPs capable of harvesting and storing thermoelectric energy. In addition, HARVEST will develop a purposefully made electronic circuit module so as to power SHM inherent functionalities and provide information on the structural health of the components.
To this end, HARVEST is composed of an interdisciplinary consortium of academics, key technology providers, industrial/SME partners and standardization experts to ensure the applicability of the developed materials in future aerospace applications.
HARVEST will follow a well-defined path in order to achieve its innovative objectives. This methodology is divided in three project areas (PA), each one focusing on different materials engineering level, as presented in the figure below:
- PA1 will study, modify and verify the TEG efficiency of constituent materials at the fiber, yarn and matrix nano-reinforcement level.
- PA2 will focus on the modelling and the mechanical, electrical and thermal evaluation of the hierarchical composite structures.
- PA3 is devoted to Integration and Validation activities.
HARVEST demonstrators with TEG capability, autonomous SHM, self-repairing and self-powering capabilities, will result in:
(i) a substantial decrease of the environmental impact of aircrafts,
(ii) an enhancement of the safety in Transport sector.
(iii) an increase of competitiveness, market perspectives, sustainability and growth for the European Aerospace & Nanomaterials sectors.
More specifically, HARVEST multifunctional materials are expected to:
- increase safety and prolonged operational time, through self-repairing functionality
- cut end-of-life (EOL) waste material of the aerospace sector, through recyclability capability
- decrease wasted energy during flight, through thermoelectric generation (TEG) functionality
- propose a self-powered Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system, through energy harvesting functionality
- diminish inspection/maintenance/repair costs, through Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) functionality
- strengthen competiveness of European industries, SMEs and Academia, through the development of novel pilot-lines for all the material levels production
Finally, HARVEST project is expected to strongly impact the European Industries & SMEs by boosting their know-how and expertise for large-scale and cost-efficient manufacturing of TEG-enabled smart composites.