All, Press Release

Aerospace project secures €2.5M project to develop novel light-weighting technology.

Dublin, 21 April 2023

A Consortium of two SMEs (EireComposites and Plasma Bound) and Technological University Dublin is delighted to announce that it has successfully obtained funding of €2.5M for the Ad Astra project. The work will be supported under the DTIF (DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INNOVATION FUND) Call 5, which is led by the Government of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland.

Lightweight composite materials are currently under-utilised in the Aerospace industry – their superior strength-to-weight ratio versus metal alloys allows reduced weight and increased fuel efficiency but rapid, cost-effective bonding of these materials is challenging. Effective Surface preparation is a key prerequisite for achieving a strong, durable bond but current surface preparation techniques are highly labour-intensive, drastically increasing process costs.

Plasma Bound has developed a patented, novel surface treatment, called Controlled Polymer Ablation (CPA), which is applied prior to the bonding of lightweight composite materials. This automated and highly repeatable process, previously prototyped successfully by ÉireComposites, selectively removes the top layer of the polymer via plasma ablation with minimal thermal input and without damaging the fibre reinforcement of the composite material.

TU Dublin (CREST), the third partner of this winning team will bring its strong material testing and surface characterisation capabilities to the consortium. These skills will be utilised to show that the CPA process results in significantly higher forces prior to failure. CREST will benchmark the CPA technology against traditionally prepared surfaces and demonstrate improved repeatability, reliability and sustainability.

The development of this plasma ablation process by this DTIF for the Consortium will remove a significant barrier and allow much greater adoption of lightweight materials in multiple areas of the manufacturing process for the aerospace industry and will generate further economic growth in all regions of Ireland and create high-quality jobs for skilled people who live and work in rural Ireland.


21 April 2023

For more information contact

Abhilasha Tomar, Communications and Media Relations Executive, Plasma Bound, e:

Becky McLoughlin, Sales and Marketing Executive, ÉireComposites. e:

Dr. Joseph Mohan, Research Manager, CREST, TU Dublin, e:

Editors Notes

EireComposites was established in 1998 and has over 60 employees. The company operates accredited composites manufacturing and testing facility in Inverin, Galway.

EireComposites is an innovative design, manufacturing and testing company involved in lightweighting, high-performance, fibre-reinforced composite materials, with an international customer base, aerospace, renewable energy and industrial composites.

Plasma Bound is the proprietor of the patented Controlled Polymer Ablation (CPA) Technology with an international customer base in automotive & transport, Aerospace and Space, Sports & Leisure and Consumer Electronics. Plasma Bound’s goal is to enable the industry to employ composite materials in lightweight vehicles, products and structures, as standard, at all price points.

Technological University Dublin (CREST) with decades of knowledge and know-how in the area of material testing and surface characterisation, is an ISO 9001 accredited TU Dublin research centre that includes a national Technology Gateway specialising in coating design and application. CREST has a track record of bringing technology to market with Volvo and Stryker. CREST want to become RPO centre of excellence for surface treatment & modification of composite materials.

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