Advancing Hybrid Composite-Metal Joining TechnologyFalcom Logo

Composites are advanced materials with very high strength-to-weight ratios, and so are being introduced into virtually all weight sensitive structures. To support this integration, new highly efficient joining technologies are urgently required. Composites joining technology is fundamental to engineering and manufacturing. Without the ability to make strong and durable connections between materials it would not be possible to produce the many different items upon which we all rely on in our everyday lives.   ‌

The FALCOM project is a collaboration between the NCLA and the Bernal Insititute in University of Limerick that seeks to develop a new state-of-the-art fastener-less joining technology to join composites to metals which does not require any mechanical fastening. Novel interlocking surface profiles will be designed, optimised and cast using novel composite processing techniques and laser etched into composite and metal surfaces, to form hierarchical structured surfaces. New reversible adhesives will be developed to bond and seal these interlocked surfaces, to result in highly durable joints that are fully reversible. This will be a highly novel development, and would be highly advantageous to manufactures and consumers in both the assembly and disassembly of components.

Project Partners:

 NCLA    Bernal
National Centre for Laser Applications,
NUI Galway
Bernal Institute
University of Limerick


Computer Modelling of Joint



Computer based modelling of interlocked joint in CFRP

3D Array

 Array of 3D features

Laser machined features in CFRP

Laser machined 3D Component


3D Plug

Laser machined twisted plug in CFRP

Micro CT of 3D Feature



Micro CT image of laser machined feature in CFRP







Project supported by Science Foundation Ireland:

SFI Logo