QUICOM (Quantitative Inspection of Complex Composite Aeronautic Parts Using Advanced X-ray Techniques) is a Level 1 project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme that aims at taking the next big step in the characterization, simulation and modelling of aeronautic components.
Within the past decades, a clear trend formed within the aeronautic industry of constantly driving industrial research towards new tailored materials as well as cost-effective, function-oriented, highly integrated and light-weight components. The driving forces behind this trend are found in the high demands of airlines and operators regarding efficiency, environment, safety, as well as passenger comfort. Advanced composite materials and especially Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) are the most promising materials, which allow integrating these demands in the components of the aircraft of the future (e.g., fuselages, horizontal tail planes, propulsion components). The next generation of aircrafts, as the Airbus A350 XWB, aim to be made of more than 50% of composite materials. However with the increase of the composite share the efforts for non-destructive testing are exploding.
The QUICOM project links the activities of 12 partners from 6 European countries including 6 research partners, 3 large enterprises, 2 SMEs and a network partner to ensure dissemination in order to establish a network of X-ray techniques, software, application, and CFRP material specialists to work together on a reliable, fully 3D inspection of aeronautic components. To date, there is neither a group in Europe which is able to carry out the project on its own, nor is a project partner able to carry out any single work package on its own.
Starting from October 2012 the QUICOM project is expected to be completed by September 2015.