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Asociación de Investigación Metalúrgica del Noroeste (AIMEN), Spain


AIMENThe Technology Centre AIMEN is a non-profit private association that provides industry with R&D services in areas including welding, materials and manufacturing processes, and Non-Destructive-Testing (NDT). Over 180 skilled staff is dedicated to improve manufacturing processes in the industry and increase their level of competitiveness. The Technology Centre AIMEN participates in numerous regional, national and international R&D&i projects. In the majority of cases in collaboration with the industry, both SMEs and large multinational companies that can be grouped into the following five research lines: Joining Technologies, Laser Technologies, Materials and Manufacturing Processes, Design and Simulation, and Non Destructive Testing. 

Role in the project

Related to Non-Destructive-Testing techniques, AIMEN develops own R&D projects as well as projects that are conducted in collaboration with the industry. For instance, AIMEN has investigated the "Application of Non-Destructive-Testing Techniques by means of Ultrasonics for the Evaluation of Welded Joints by Resistance Spot Welding"; or "Non-Destructive-Testing techniques for joints including ultrasonic testing, induced currents, examination by radiography and thermography, and by penetrant testing". In addition, two new and innovative NDT techniques have been developed in AIMEN for welded joints by resistance and an online monitoring system to be implemented in the automotive industry which captures parameters by means of ultrasonic waves to draw conclusions on the quality of the weld. Moreover, new NDT equipments were developed including a tomography and electromagnetic NDT.

Furthermore, AIMEN has developed projects that deals with preparation of the metal surface prior being subject to be patched by the composite. The surface was modified by various abrasive or chemical methods using primer, which increases the adherence between steel and composites. Projects include "Research & Development Project of Resin Coatings for its Application in Commercial and Industrial Production Processes", and "Weld bonding development for thin metals using hybrid technologies: adhesives + spot welding; adhesives + mechanical fasteners".

Analysis of the steel-composite joint by testing different adhesives and optimising thus the parameters of the process including thickness of the layer, "tack" times, etc. based on mechanical tests of the joint. Projects include "Research and Technological Development new Industrial Concrete Pavements Reinforced with Steel Fibres, Polymer Fibres, and mesh wire with the objective to optimise the physical and mechanical characteristics", "Design, Development, and Manufacturing of a Prototype Boat for professional use manufactured by means of a polymer thermoplastic".

AIMEN has also expertise in projects within destructive testing, including the "Analysis of Mechanical Properties in Various Sandwich Constructions with a PVC core and material skins composed of a Polymer Based EPOXY for its Use in Shipbuilding and formed by means of the vacuum bag technique".

Staff involved in the project

  1. Dr. Elena Rodríguez (Co-Patch Project Leader)
  2. Gala Pérez
  3. Alejandro Conde
  4. Jose Antonio Dominguez