Introduction to Composite Materials

This is a five day intensive course covering the essential concepts and practices of composite materials.

Monday 12 - Friday 16 November 2018

About the course

The course will benefit those with no previous formal introduction to the science of composites. No prior knowledge or experience is assumed.

All topics will be introduced from first principles and the emphasis will be on developing an understanding of concepts rather than a detailed review of current practice.

The course will include lectures, exercise classes and laboratory sessions.

For queries about this course

Short Course Administrator - Jenna Flint
Tel: +44 (0)1483 686122

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.

Course overview

Module aims

This course aims to:

  • Provide a systematic understanding of the fundamental science and technology of engineering composite materials
  • Study the often complex interactions between the matrix, reinforcement and interface in composite materials, leading to an understanding of the relationships between reinforcement geometry and composite properties
  • Provide the principles behind important design considerations, processing technologies and test methods.

Learning outcomes

  • Upon successful completion of the course delegates will be able to: Describe and comment on the basic mechanical behaviour of composite materials and make sound judgements on the likely behaviour of new combinations of materials
  • Support the choices made for using certain types of composites in certain applications with reference to composite properties
  • Demonstrate a practical understanding of composite properties and fabrication techniques, and to be able to make realistic suggestions for the evaluation of composite behaviour, where appropriate.

Module content

The course will include lectures, exercise classes and laboratory sessions:

  • Introduction
  • Basic mechanics of reinforcement
  • Laminate theory
  • Fracture processes and toughness of composites
  • Reinforcements and matrices
  • Interfaces in composites materials
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Modelling of the processing of fibre composites
  • Failure criteria
  • Introduction to design
  • Notches and joints - the effect of stress concentrations
  • Fatigue
  • Woven composites – structure and behaviour
  • Impact and environmental effects.

Further information

Who should attend

Those wanting an in-depth introduction to composite materials.

The rapid increase in the use of composites means that many people are getting involved with composite materials and finding they need a sound introduction to the subject.

It will be suitable for graduates in science or engineering who are entering the field and for technicians engaged in composites technology but who want to understand the science.

The course is also suitable for sales and managerial personnel who have a scientific background and are seeking an appreciation of the principles of composite materials.


No prior knowledge or experience of composites is assumed. The course will be taught at graduate level. It should be understood readily by graduates in science or engineering and by technicians of BTEC or equivalent status. The mathematical demands of the course are not great but some understanding of the calculus and the principles of matrix algebra would be advantageous.


This is a week long course, from Monday 12 - Friday 16 November 2018.


Price per person is £1600.

If you use our 3 for 2 offer and book on three delegates to this course, then the price will be £3200.

How to apply

Payment can be accepted by purchase order, credit card or bank transfer on our online store.

Please note that we do not charge VAT as we are an educational establishment.

Required reading

Extensive course notes are provided.

Recommended background reading:

The library has a wide range of textbooks that support this module, including:

Hull D and Clyne TW, An Introduction to Composite Materials, 2nd ed, Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Agarwal BD and Broutman LJ, Analysis and Performance of Fiber Composites, Wiley, 1980.
(both of which provide a good introduction to the topic.)

Course Directors

The Course Director is Professor Stephen Ogin and Co-Director is Professor Paul Smith.

Composite materials brochure

(3.3 MB .PDF)


Contact us

Find us

Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences
University of Surrey