The module descriptors for this programme can be found below.

Composites 2

Module aims

Manufacturing Science

Liquid Moulding Technologies

  • To provide an introduction to the industrial application of liquid moulding including RTM, SRIM and derivative process.
  • To demonstrate the underlying process physics and its effects on processing and part performance.

High Volume Thermoset Composites Technologies

  • To provide an introduction to the industrial application of moulding compounds and other forms of bulk materials conversion for high volume manufacture.
  • To demonstrate the underlying process physics and its effects on processing and part performance.

Manufacturing Thermoplastic Composites

  • To give an overview of the basic processes available for manufacturing thermoplastic composites and to give a fundamental understanding of the process parameters controlling quality and performance.
  • To illustrate through case studies and examples the important interaction between processing, economics and design.

Filament Winding and Pultrusion

  • To develop an understanding of filament winding, pultrusion and related processes for the production of fibre re-inforced composite materials.
  • To review the applications of the techniques to typical engineering structures
  • To outline the design route for establishing the performance of components manufactured by these processes
     

Stifness & Strength

  • Introduce micromechanics concepts & use in calculating stiffness/strength. 
  • Restricted to fibre / polymer matrix composites 
  • Short fibre lectures concerned with fibres up to 50mm in length 
  • Compare short fibre composites with competitive materials 
  • Highlight problems associated with the design of products from short fibre composites 
  • Suggest possible analyses for predicting stiffness and stiffness and strength 
  • Basic technology developed out of use of cheap filers to improve resin properties – particularly elastic modulus, strength and dimensional stability. 

 Mechanical Testing

The aims of this set of lectures are to introduce the background to the mechanical characterization of fibre reinforced / plastic matrix composite materials and detail the test methods used. 

Learning outcomes

Manufacturing Science

See course aims above.

Stiffness & Strength

  • At the end of these lectures you should: 
  • Understand simple models for predicting stiffness/strength of UD systems 
  • Understand simple models for predicting stiffness/strength of short fibre composites 
  • Be aware of the limitations of the simple models 
  • Be familiar with the advanced micromechanics models 
  • Understand importance of hygrothermal effects & how might be calculated 

Mechanical Testing

At the conclusion to the course you should be familiar with the general procedures for the mechanical testing of fibre reinforced composite laminates including:
 

  • Laminate and testpiece preparation. 
  • Test methods used including jigs/fixtures required. 
  • Determination of elastic moduli, strength and Poisson’s ratio. 

Module syllabus

Manufacturing Science

Thermoset Composites:  Principles of manufacturing processes (open and closed mould), including: hand and spray lay-up, press moulding, injection moulding, resin injection, RRIM, filament winding (including automated tape laying and automated fibre placement), pultrusion, centrifugal casting, autoclave, prepreg and other "starting" materials, etc. The relevance of automation and computer control will be emphasized. Where appropriate the science of curing reactions, mould flow, etc. will be discussed. The choice of appropriate method for typical components. Cutting, drilling and other finishing operations.
Thermoplastic Composites:  Introduction to the range of thermoplastics composites
Manufacturing thermoplastic composites: Semi-structural and structural thermoplastic composites: Glass Mat Thermoplastics (GMT): raw materials; manufacturing methods; part and mould design; applications and case study.  Continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastics: Impregnation technology; modelling impregnation; forming processes for thermoplastic preforms; applications.
Manufacturing thermoplastic composites: Short fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites: Compounding; practical considerations in injection moulding; melt rheology and practical flow calculations; Introduction to fibre orientation distribution and consequences in design; applications and case study.
Fundamentals of flow induced fibre orientation in short fibre thermoplastic composites: Characterisation of fibre orientation distribution (FOD): orientation parameters, orientation distribution function, orientation tensors; Measurement of FOD: image processing and analysis, orientation tensor calculations; Experimental observations: effect of processing and flow conditions, geometry and materials on FOD. Thermal and flow effects: shear flow, convergent and divergent flow, fountain flow. Prediction of FOD: Folger-Tucker model and fibre interaction, closure approximations, results. Stiffness predictions.

Stiffness & Strength

Geometrical aspects, volume and weight fraction. Unidirectional continuous fibre systems; stiffness and strength. Discontinuous fibres. Short fibre systems; length and orientation distributions. Woven reinforcements. Hybrids. Failure theories for unidirectional lamina. Micro mechanics theories. 

Mechanical Testing

Determination of stiffness and strengths of unidirectional composites; tension, compression, flexure and shear. Typical standard methods. Use of contact and non-contact methods of strain measurement. 

Teaching methods

The course is presented using a combination of the whiteboard, Powerpoint presentation and pre-printed notes.

Assessments

This course is assessed by written examination. The examinations take place at the start of the summer term.

Manufacturing Science

There are 3 questions in Paper 2 on this lecture topic.

Stiffness & Strength

There are 2 questions in exam Paper 2 on this lecture topic. 

Mechanical Testing

There is 1 question in exam Paper 2 on this lecture topic.

Reading list

Supplementary

Core

Supplementary

Core

Supplementary