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2018-04-19 Latvia: H2020 M-ERA NET call 2018 - Innovative Technology for Production of High-strength Composite Roadside Barriers

H2020 M-ERA NET call 2018 - Innovative Technology for Production of High-strength Composite Roadside Barriers – partners are sought from any organisation eligible to participate in the call and able to perform tasks described in the summary
A project proposal for M-ERA.NET Call is under preparation. Objective of the project is to develop production technology for thermoplastic composite roadside barriers, progressing from TRL2 to at least TRL4. The design and manufacture technology of barriers will be worked out by the research institute from Latvia. Partners are sought for high-rate mechanical testing of materials, crash simulations of the virtual barrier prototypes, certification of the barriers, and coordination of the project.
Road traffic is increasing year by year. To prevent an accompanying increase in the number of road accidents and their victims, a variety of road restraint systems is being applied. The most important elements of the system are roadside barriers.
Given the large amount of road barrier usage, a few years ago at the institute from Latvia an idea was proposed to try to replace metal guardrails by composite barriers. The technology and equipment is being developed for production of a multi-layer composite barrier material from low-density polyethylene and glass fibers by means of hot rolling. The proposed technology would allow replacing of the metal barriers by just as durable but cheaper polymer composite roadside barriers.
According to indirect mechanical test results, the barrier prototype already produced in lab conditions approaches T2 containment level requirements of the standard EN1317. However, analysis of the potential market revealed that at least N2 level of containment needs to be reached to become competitive with the traditional barrier production. Therefore, development and manufacture of thermoplastic polymer - glass fiber composite barriers complying with at least N2 containment level according to standard EN1317 requirements, and respective certification, is planned during this project.
The N2 containment level barrier is about twice stronger than T2 containment level barrier, therefore considerable modification of the previously developed barrier design and production technology is anticipated. In order to attain an efficient barrier design, numerical modeling of barrier response in high-speed impact loading is envisaged and hence a partner having expertise in crush simulations is sought. For robust simulations, high-rate response of barrier material has to be known, therefore a partner with high strain-rate testing capacity of composite materials is needed. A partner with capacity of certification testing of barriers is also sought.
The research institute from Latvia performs research in fields of mechanics of materials - deformation processes, including long-term deformation, mechanical integrity of materials, applications of composite materials in mechanical engineering and construction, composite structures, effects of external environmental factors on the mechanical properties of materials, prediction methods for long-term properties, non-destructive testing methods, and technologies of composite materials. In the field of composite materials, the institute has long term traditions from the design and development of composite shells for airspace applications to the development and prototype designing of multi-layer composite roadside barriers.
It is planned to submit a pre-proposal of the project to M-ERA.NET program Call 2018 in the thematic area “High performance composites” by the deadline of 12 June 2018. 
In the project the institute from Latvia will develop the technology. Partners are sought for coordination of the project, for doing of high-rate mechanical testing of materials, for performing the crash simulations of the virtual barriers and prototypes, for the product certification, and eventually – for the potential manufacturing of the developed barriers working further with the technology developer.
The duration of the project is planned for 36 months.
Deadline for expression of interest – 31 May 2018.
The composite material road guardrails being cheaper than metal analogues will save a lot of money for road infrastructure builders / community.
Proposal under development
: Exclusive Rights
01003016 Simulation
02002005 Forming (rolling, forging, pressing, drawing)
02007005 Composite materials
02008005 Road Transport
09001005 Mechanical Technology related to measurements
08001004 Fibre-reinforced (plastic) composites
08001006 Processes for working with plastics
08003007 Other industrial equipment and machinery
09007002 Manufacture of construction materials, components and systems
M.72.1.9 Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering 
Partner Sought
The type of partner sought:
Any organisation eligible for participation in M-ERA.NET Call 2018:

One of the following tasks to be performed by the partners sought: 
- numerical modeling of barrier response in high-speed impact loading and crush simulations ;
- high strain-rate testing of composite materials;
- certification testing of barriers;
- eventually - producer of the composite roadside barriers. 
Research cooperation agreement
M-ERA.NET Call 2018
Two-stage submission scheme.
31 May 2018
12 Jun 2018