Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Composite Materials Technology: Design, Technology & Performance

Next course runs in 2019, date TBC

Course objectives

Delegates completing this course will have been presented with an overview of many important manufacturing, design, joining and repair issues of concern in current applications of composite materials technology. They will also develop an awareness (based on a fundamental understanding of the science and technology involved) of the goals and limitations of structural health monitoring of composite structures, together with an understanding of the considerations involved in implementing many optical and non-optical smart composite applications, including process monitoring, structural/damage monitoring and damage limitation and self-healing.

Provisional syllabus

Please note that we reserve the right to alter the syllabus. Any major changes will be notified to delegates before the course starts.

Who Should Attend

The programme has been designed for engineers and scientists with some exposure to composite materials, and/or some working experience with composites, who wish to expand their understanding to include composite design issues and the science and technology of many important smart composite materials systems.

The course is also appropriate for new graduates in engineering or materials disciplines wishing to expand their knowledge base to include the area of composite technology and smart composite materials.

The aim when discussing any area will be to introduce the concepts involved, and hence the mathematical demands of the course are kept to a minimum (an ability to be able to deal with mathematics at A-level/BTEC equivalent is desirable). All practicing engineers and scientists in industry should therefore find the material readily accessible. 

Lecture Topics

Design

  • Review of basic composite mechanics 
  • Mechanical design criteria 
  • Failure criteria for design 
  • Composite design 
  • Principles of joining and repair 
  • Finite-element analysis: basic principles 
  • Finite-element analysis and composite materials 
  • Design tools and product standards 

Manufacture

  • Reinforcements and matrices 
  • Processing of composite materials 
  • Textile composites: manufacture and behaviour 
  • Manufacture of large composite structures 
  • Optical sensors for process monitoring 
  • An introduction to recycling, sustainability and green issues

Performance

  • Fatigue and delamination issues for composite materials 
  • Non-destructive evaluation for composite structures 
  • Bridges, bridge strengthening and repair 
  • Repair case studies: aircraft, pipework, pressure vessels 
  • Optical sensors for strain and damage monitoring 
  • Commercial perspectives on implementing structural health monitoring: the example of optical systems 
  • Composites in the civil infrastructure: the practicalities 
  • Applications of composites in aerospace 
  • Composite usage in wind and tidal turbine blades

Module aims

This course aims to:

  • Provide an understanding of many important design, manufacture and performance issues of concern in current applications of composite materials;
  • Present material (including case studies) which indicate current developments within the technology.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module and associated assessment package, students will:

  • Be able to suggest solutions for a wide variety of simple composite design/manufacture performance issues
  • Be able to formulate an initial assessment of whether a particular composite solution for an application appears reasonable in the light of design, manufacturing and performance issues.

Module content

Design lectures:
Review of basic composite mechanics; mechanical design criteria; failure criteria for design; composite design; principles of joining and repair; finite-element analysis: basic principles; finite-element analysis and composite materials; design tools and product standards

Manufacture lectures:
Reinforcements and matrices; processing of composite materials; textile composites: manufacture and behaviour; manufacture of large composite structures; optical sensors for process monitoring; an introduction to recycling, sustainability and green issues

Performance lectures:
Fatigue and delamination issues for composite materials; non-destructive evaluation for composite structures; bridges, bridge strengthening and repair; repair case studies: aircraft, pipework, pressure vessels; optical sensors for strain and damage monitoring; commercial perspectives on implementing structural health monitoring: the example of optical systems; composites in the civil infrastructure: the practicalities; applications of composites in aerospace; composite usage in wind and tidal turbine blades

Course Directors

The Course Directors are Professor Stephen Ogin and Professor Paul Smith.