Educational innovation in Thermoplastic Composite Welding

World premiere: 4.0 training on welding technologies for thermoplastic composites! 
A playful theory, combined with a simulator that objectively indicates the most suitable technological solutions. The advantages and limits of each process are defined according to the geometric constraints of the parts and the materials to be welded.
Training adapted and recommended for the Aeronautical and Automotive fields.

Composites Expert presents "E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY", the first distance learning platform dedicated to the transformation processes of composite materials.
Finally, innovative 4.0 training courses, which combine distance learning and practice, available in French and English!
E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY, launches a preview of its brand new module on welding technologies for thermoplastic composites.
The aim of the organisation with this innovation is to offer generic training in the different welding technologies, to compare them with each other by indicating their advantages and limitations in given configurations, to popularise and share complex information, validated by international experts in the field. The potential of this new module is mainly due to the sharing of knowledge, creating a unique and unprecedented resource. 
The state of the art of the 10 technologies covered, which are constantly evolving, makes it possible to understand the industrial prospects necessary for their maturity and to acquire a common language. The enrichment of an adapted and standardised vocabulary facilitates exchanges between the various players in the sector. 
A simulator, a new and educational tool, completes and consolidates the knowledge acquired. It enables the most suitable technologies to be objectively defined according to the geometric constraints of the parts and the materials to be assembled.
In its training course, E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY illustrates each welding technology by means of animations, thus promoting a better understanding of the processes covered.
This pedagogical innovation completes the family of thermoplastic composite materials for which courses on "Introduction to polymers" or "Stamping technology" are already available. Other courses such as "Generalities of composite materials", "RTM and Infusion technologies" for thermoset materials complete the offer.

A learning programme designed and created by Jean-Pierre CAUCHOIS, an internationally recognised expert.  Based on his experience, the courses, supplemented by new teaching tools, enable complex physical phenomena to be understood in a simple way. It is no coincidence that 93% of users recommend these courses and their formats and 91% feel that they have progressed and acquired new knowledge. E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY does not joke with the follow-up and satisfaction of its learners. The company provides an easy and rapid solution as well as effective learning, validating knowledge at each stage of the training. Practical exercises allow the learner to better understand the transformation processes through manipulation.
Dedicated to all actors in the world of Composites, these multi-level (initiation, intermediate and advanced), multilingual training courses can be customised according to the needs of the structures and teams. E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY is an incredible resource that perfectly responds to the current problems of recruitment and team training that are often logistically complicated to set up.
The E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY management team will be present at JEC WORLD PARIS 2023, HALL 6 - BOOTH N4, and will be available to inform you and present this innovation!
Be curious !!!

Acknowledgements in the context of the "Welding" module:
We are honoured to have been able to validate the contents of this course thanks to the contribution and involvement of the following experts
Jérôme Hubert (President) of the company PINETTE PEI
Sébastien Cochais (Technical & Industrial Director - Thermal Consolidation / Thermoplastics Stamping Expertise) and Amélie Brientin (R&D and New Projects Manager) for 
The company AVIACOMP
Jérôme Raynal (Director Aeronautics & composites) and Aurélien Philippe (Head of Composites, Brazing, FSW-Research, Innovation, Expertise Department, INSTITUT DE SOUDURE Group)
Pierre Pinet (Product Manager) from SOPARA 
Gaëlle Guyader (Expert Project Manager and Head of Development in the aeronautics sector) and Guillaume Vincent (Research Engineer, composite materials processes) of the IRT JULES VERNE
Eric Dorn (Manager) of the company LDB Developpement

We warmly thank the following people and structures for the quality of the interviews:
Fabrice Carassus (Materials R&D engineer) and Toufik Djilali (innovation manager) for LAUAK
Bram Jongboed (Materials & Process Engineer) for DELFT University of Technology
France Chabert (HDR lecturer) Ecole Nationale d'ingénieurs de Tarbes
Didier Trichet (Director of the IREENA laboratory) for the University of Nantes
Christophe Binetruy (Professor of Mechanical Engineering) of the Ecole Centrale de Nantes

Finally, E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY would like to thank its Committee of Excellence, made up of personalities from the industrial world (raw material producers, transformers, equipment manufacturers), from research and teaching, who support, validate and advise the company's actions, and especially its President Michel Glotin, who has actively participated in the quality and creation of content.


Prepreg training courses

For his new training course, the E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY is focusing on the business rules governing prepreg materials and has joined forces with STELIA Aerospace North America Inc. (STENA), a manufacturer of composite structures for the aerospace and defence industries. The aim of the partnership is to improve the skills of collaborators in the manufacture of composite parts.

Under the leadership of Rolland DELORME, Chief Operating Offi cer, STENA has embarked on a mission to improve the capabilities of its workforce through digital training. As Rolland DELORME explains, ?Jean-Pierre CAUCHOIS, composite materials expert and CEO of COMPOSITES EXPERT, joined this initiative. The training organization's state-of-the-art digital platform for composite manufacturing processes proved to be perfectly suited to STELIA North America's needs, facilitating the creation of customized training material for thermoset prepregs, hand lay-up and autoclave curing?.

E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY is the first training platform dedicated to the processing of thermosetting and thermoplastic composite materials, combining theory, practical exercises in the form of BOXes and the integration of software and digital twins into the courses.

Commenting on the move, Rolland DELORME said: ?This strategic collaboration is designed to fill the skills gap that STENA faces, particularly in the rural area of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and competitive area of Mirabel, Quebec. STENA operates a primary facility in Lunenburg and a secondary facility in Mirabel, focusing on traditional composite manufacturing techniques such as hand lay-up of prepreg materials. The shortage of skilled labour, compounded by the lack of formal training programmes in composites, led to the search for an innovative and effective educational solution. Under the umbrella of the E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY, the collaboration drew on the expertise of STENA's production and engineering teams and specialists from Hexcel, a leading manufacturer of advanced composite materials. The resulting training programme, available in English and French, not only will benefit our teams in Nova Scotia and Quebec, but is also an invaluable asset to the broader aerospace and composites industry.?

Carolina BRANTES, Technical Support Manager for France, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific at HEXCEL, explains that ?Developing our employees' knowledge of the applications of composite materials in industrial environments is an essential value for HEXCEL. This enables us to offer a quality service for our products and to support the development of our teams. By combining theoretical online courses with practical classroom work, E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY is perfectly suited to the needs of today's industry and the flexibility demanded by the new generation.? This new module will lead to international certification in a few months' time (TOCTE® : Test of Composite Technical Evaluation). This final stage in the development and recognition of our teams is being carried out with some of the biggest names in the aerospace industry. No previous knowledge of prepreg materials is required for this new course, which is aimed at new entrants with no knowledge of the process, operators, technicians and methods offices, as well as experienced teams wishing to refresh or add to their knowledge. The course is structured around the following topics: general aspects of composite materials; health, safety and environment; transformation technologies in the aeronautical field; definition and manufacture of prepreg materials; vocabulary and technological stages involved in a school part.

In line with the quality standards required for the processing of prepreg parts in the aerospace industry, the new course covers almost 400 business rules.

E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY offers a complete learning programme with implementationsin clean room, material storage, cutting, tooling, curing and demoulding. These six chapters,specific to this transformation process, set out all the business rules that need to be learnt andmastered. Each chapter is followed by a fun quiz, with a final assessment at the end of the course.

E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY provides companies with a toolbox in which production managers, technical and methods department managers, can customize the training programmes of their employees according to their profiles and professional roles.It's a training programme with drawers, designed to help you master a rigorous transformation process. According to Jean-Pierre CAUCHOIS, this is an asset for the aeronautics sector: ?The human element in this technology is very important for parts with high added value, which is why E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY wanted to put people at the centre of this approach and give them a learning structure and recognition for mastering this complex process? .

Looking to the future, Rolland DELORME says he is ?enthusiastic about supporting Composites Academy's goal of achieving international certification for its training programmes. This partnership not only responds to the industry's pressing challenges, but also reaffirms STENA's commitment to encouraging innovation and developing talent in the composites manufacturing sector?.

E-LEARNING COMPOSITES ACADEMY warmly thanks the following companies and individuals for their expertise, involvement, validation and contribution to this new learning resource:

STELIA Aerospace North America Inc.       
  • Rolland DELORME (Chief Operating Officer)
  • Kim BORDELEAU (Production Manager)
  • Xavier GAGNÉ-BRULOTTE (Manufacturing Engineering Team Leader)
  • Alexandre GEOFFRION (Manufacturing Engineering Technologist)
The HEXCEL company        
  • Carolina BRANTES (Technical Support Manager France, MiddleEast, Africa and Asia Pacific)

But also these internationally recognized experts:
  • Jean-Pierre JUMEL
  • Michel GLOTIN
  • Fabrice LANDAIS
  • Philippe MANGIN
  • Vincent BELORGEOT

22 February 2024

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