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Wednesday, June 2 • 12:50 - 13:15
SurFlow: Future Composite Data Highways

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  • Game-changing communication technology
  • Added multifunctionallity
  • Black art of electromagnetic surface waves

A breakthrough at TWI has led to the creation of data transfer technology that can be seamlessly incorporated into composite materials to create a high-capacity, resilient data transfer network. SurFlow™ technology uses electromagnetic surface waves to transmit data directly through composite structures. Described as “the future of composite data highways”, SurFlow™ technology removes the need for wires or fibre optics. TWI has a new disruptive technology, which involves passing data through the composite structure itself. SurFlow™ transmits data in the form of electromagnetic waves that travel through composite structures. The system uses no wiring harnesses or fibre optics. By turning a composite into a ‘smart’ composite, the technology integrates a data network into a component’s physical structure. The system is capable of transmitting data at up to 3Gbps and can continue to function even if the composite part suffers damage. The frequency range that has been tested is 2-6GHz, which can be extended to any other frequency ranges needed, depending on the industrial application. Potential applications for smart composites exist throughout industry in almost every sector. For instance, in the automotive sector, where use of composites such as carbon fibre is now extending beyond high-end applications, the technology could significantly reduce the complexity of a vehicle’s internal communications network. In robotics, the technology could be used to enable communication throughout a robotic system without the use of wires. In consumer electronics, the technology would allow a device to instantly connect to a network simply by making contact with the composite’s surface, with no need to plug anything in or detect and connect to a wireless network. Other uses being explored include advanced aerospace applications and real-time composite monitoring, whereby subtle changes in the waveform allow any damage to a smart composite component to be identified immediately.

Speakers, Jury Members & Final...
avatar for Chris WORRALL

Chris WORRALL

Consultant, TWI Ltd
At TWI, Chris is responsible for delivering composites joining, manufacture, processing and testing services to both members and through public funded projects. He has spent 10 years in Japan working in the automotive, aerospace, renewable energy and rail transport industries. Before... Read More →


Wednesday June 2, 2021 12:50 - 13:15 CEST
Conferences (Hall 6 - Room 611)