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AMICO - Additive Manufacturing and Process Automation for Hybrid and Composite Materials


“AMICO – Additive Manufacturing and Process Automation for Hybrid and Composite Materials” is based on the use of additive processes, i.e., processes that create objects by depositing materials layer upon layer to form a 3D geometry, using carbon fibers and thermoplastic or thermosetting resins, and creating hybrid systems, made up of materials of different matrices and/or having multifunctional capabilities.
These solutions help streamline traditional production by introducing alternative manufacturing methods in response to the need for more versatile and functional materials required in various sectors, including aeronautics, missile, automotive and pharmaceutical industries, within a cross-fertilization framework. The project will adopt an integrated design approach for the components to be built based on innovative design philosophies capable of implementing the necessary process of conversion of existing configurations into lighter and more efficient structures, making use of topology optimization provided by additive technology. The processes developed will also be implemented according to an Integrated System logic where the machining centre has the ability to produce finished additive manufacturing objects in one shot, auxiliary processes for removing/reducing excess material such as supports, roughness and dimensional anomalies, as well as quality checks in compliance with quality standards in the sector.

Financial Resources
This 30-month project was funded by the NOP Research and Innovation 2014-2020 under Axis II “Thematic Projects”, action “Clusters”, which finances industrial research and experimental development projects in the 12 specialization areas identified by the National Research Programme (NRP) 2015-2020, in particular in the “Smart Factory” specialization area. For the implementation of this initiative, a budget of 4.137.319,61 euro was allocated to the following beneficiaries forming the public-private partnership:

  • IMAST – District for the Engineering of Polymeric and Composite Materials and Structures - Scarl
  • “Sapienza” University of ROME
  • University of TRENTO

Impact on the Territory
AMICO is a unique case, in which companies operating in different sectors (the Italian largest producer and supplier for the aerospace sector, the Italian largest producer for the automotive industry, the world leader in the missile industry, and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies) cooperate with each other and with the most prestigious southern Italian and national universities and research institutions, developing a cross-sectoral, multidisciplinary and “multi-KET” project.
The aerospace sector will benefit from the identification of a new process for the deposition of reinforced thermoplastics and the production of flexible dies. The automotive sector will profit from FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology for threadlike polymer extrusion. The missile industry will obtain a combination of interfaces that is resistant to heavier loads in a higher temperature range. Finally, the application of multiple technologies will result in a reduction in terms of costs, resources and product feasibility studies for the pharmaceutical industry. The project includes research fellowships/contracts for the researchers working on the project, generating a positive impact in terms of employment. Within a circular economy framework, the project will also focus on the study of technologies for the recycling of scrap, in particular the end of life of scrap from carbon fiber-based thermoplastic systems resulting from finishing processes.



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