Introducing EEC networks

ENSPED is an EEC thematic research network lying under the third Brite Euram Research program. The group include eigteen industrials and laboratories working on prestress engineering and related subjects.

European dimension and related benefits

1. Subsidiarity

Partners composing the consortium can provide different know-how on residual stress in the various fields i.e. measurement, processing, and modelling

- industrial know-how: The different industrial partners will provide different approaches to residual stress problem concerning industrial products (components and structures). The power industry, for example, (SIEMENS, ABB, etc...) could offer its experience on welded structures and machined parts in power plants and power generating systems. The various aerospace industry partners (British Aerospace, SNECMA, Aérospatiale) have lengthy experience in determining residual stresses in structural aerospace components consisting of different alloys (aluminum, nickel-based alloy, titanium, high strength steel, etc...). Automotive industrial partners (VOLVO, SCANIA, ROBERT BOSCH, etc...) will contribute their experience in the study of residual stresses in mechanical automotive parts with high quality requirements in top-of-the-range products. Suppliers of materials and measuring techniques (Stresstech, Hydro Aluminum) can contribute in the field of material processing and industrial inspection technology. The different university partners and research centres such as CETIM provide the consortium with complete, complementary know-how and information on residual stress problems. Many of them are leaders in various fields of research. The consortium therefor covers a wide panel of industrial sectors from material suppliers to end users.

2. Strategic importance

The European industry is facing fierce foreign competition from American industry in the field of aerospace or Japanese industry in the automotive industry, for instance. Implementation of the prestress engineering approach in industry during the design phase of product development could offer an important advantage to European industry which will be able to develop higher quality products to a lower cost. If all the procedures are implemented both in design office and during process development and quality control, product development of the different critical parts will be considerably reduced. Research in the field of residual stress in USA and Japan has been industrially oriented for quite some time. This network can contribute to introducing into industry a more advanced approach developed by European research partners in order to increase competitiveness.

3. European social and economic cohesion

European social and economic cohesion will benefit from this project, for example, through the technological cooperation of 18 partners from seven EC countries and one state associated with the program. The industrial partners are mainly leading companies in Europe in their respective fields with various plants and major suppliers in many EC countries. This network will disseminate information by organising seminars in different countries. The network will also contribute to the development of research in certain specific areas such as Troyes in France which is in a FEDER zone (objective 2). The regional government will contribute to financing the network with funding specifically earmarked for European projects.

4. Codes of practice and standards

There are no European or national standards for the determination of residual stress in Europe, which means that in practice, companies use internal procedure or US standards. At the end of the project, three guidelines will provide each company (major firm or SME) with a large number of reference results including case studies.