Scientific Methodology


THERMACO approach for thermal highway integrated composite parts





WP 1: Design for an integration of thermal highways
WP1 will provide design guidelines for shape, routing and filling for the Graphene ‘thermal highways’ and the Graphene and Diamond loaded composite material near the heat source (the ‘highway ramps’). Therefore, simulation of heat dissipation within the composite part must be enabled. Furthermore, the transfer of heat from the source/surface to the highways needs to be investigated. WP1 will deliver simulation results and design guiding for microstructures to achieve this, which will be subsequently machined in WP5.

WP2: Developing materials
WP2 aims at developing material to be successfully integrated into the Aluminium cast parts, thus withstanding the casting process and its boundary conditions of heat and mechanical stress. Furthermore, the material must be adaptable to the shape of the heat highways and surface structures as defined by WP1. This WP is the base for the successful production of the heat ‘highways’ and the highway ‘ramp’ material.

WP3: Mould design and production
The main objective of WP3 is to develop the key knowledge required for the THERMACO casting process in order to design a permanent mould to be used in the composite casting process. Incorporating input from WP1, 2 and 4, the mould will be designed to allow for vibration-assisted casting and an insertion of the Graphene highways prior to casting.

WP4: Casting process development
The main objectives of WP4 are to develop a suitable casting process to produce sound, high-performance TPG/Graphene inserted castings. The first task to be accomplished is to develop the right casting simulation technique in order to take into account the presence of TPG/Graphene inserts within the casting.
The casting simulations will be initially carried out by modelling TPG/Graphene characteristics; In the WP, the right set of casting parameters will be defined in order to allow the production of the TPG inserted casting, obtaining thus the highest thermal performance of the casting.

WP5: Finish machining and surface structuring
WP5 will develop machining technologies to create precision geometries and surfaces for the final composite part. Since the casting process has limitations regarding shape accuracy, a finish machining process has to be implemented.
Here, innovative ablating technologies are to be implemented in order to selectively machine the base material without damaging the carbon-based inserts. Electrochemical and electroerosive processes are applied to secure an optimal machining with regard to speed, cost and environmental impact while assuring the required freedom of design for heat transferring microstructures. The results are fed back into WP1 and WP2.

WP6:Evaluation of advanced composite parts
The main objective of this WP is to assess the advantages obtained from the TPG/inserted castings in terms of heat transfer, by means of experimental tests carried out on the lab-scale castings.
This work package covers the evaluation of the advanced composite parts (heat transfer rate and mechanical properties) and a metallurgic evaluation of cast products. The results will influence the final demonstrator design.

WP7: Life cycle analysis and environmental impact assessment
WP 7 will assess and investigate environmental and health aspects of the new material on two levels: technological processes of material production, utilisation and recycling of the thermal MMC materials and final application of the materials in the selected potential applications (WP8). Life cycle assessment (LCA) for the materials produced will be performed to demonstrate environmental impacts and benefits associated with this process during its lifetime.

WP8: Demonstration
The overall goal of WP8 is to demonstrate the project foregrounds through the realization of demonstrators. This WP will manage the development of the part demonstrators connecting the IND/SMEs and their experience with the expertise of the RTD partners aiming at the production of fully functional Al-MMC composite parts with carbon-based thermal inserts and their possible implementations in a novel process chain.

WP9: Dissemination and exploitation
The activities of WP9 aim to disseminate information and results of the THERMACO project within and outside the consortium, as well as proposing exploitation transfer plans and managing the Intellectual Property Rights in order to enable partners to maximize the commercialization of the results post-project.

WP100 Project Management
The main goal of this WP is a smooth execution of the overall THERMACO project and the effective collaboration among all partners in order to achieve successful outcomes and project objectives. This work package will pursue successful management of all project activities, including project planning and risk management, coordination of actions and monitoring activities, communication with partners, gender and diversity.