The module descriptors for this programme can be found below.

Composites 3

Module aims

Lifecycle assessment and recycling of composite materials

The overall aim of this course is to provide an understanding of lifecycle and recycling considerations related to the growing use of composite materials.

Joining and Repair of Fibre-Reinforced Plastics

To introduce the principles underlying joining and repair of fibre-reinforced plastics.

Laminate Analysis

Familiarisation with classical lamination theory and its application for predicting the deformation and strength of laminated composite plates. 

Design

This course aims at providing an introduction to general design approaches, with application to Composite Materials and Structures. There will be a review of particular issues in designing with composites, stressing interactions between materials, manufacturing & inspection, design and analysis. The course will introduce aspects linked with the Certification of Composites Civil Aircraft Structures and review Industrial Applications, with an emphasis on aircraft structures. 

Analytical Techniques

  • To develop a basic understanding of the main methods for organic materials characterisation  
  • To appreciate the type of information required to characterise organic materials. 
  • To appreciate the methods to characterise fibre and void volume fraction in composites. 
  • Understanding the principles and use of thermal analysis techniques for characterising polymeric materials. 
  • Introduction to methodology and tools for fractographic analysis 
  • Overview of basic translaminar, intralaminar and interlaminar failure modes 
  • Present case studies demonstrating methodologies and morphologies 

Learning outcomes

Lifecycle assessment and recycling of composite materials

At the end of the course, the students will be able to quantify the environmental impact of composite materials. They will also be able to provide various methods of composite recycling depending on the starting composite materials and further evaluate which recycling method is most suitable.

Joining and Repair of Fibre-Reinforced Plastics

At the end of this set of lectures students should: 

  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of the major methods of joining (mechanical fastening and adhesive bonding). 
  • Be familiar with the performance of representative mechanical and bonded joints, and design and manufacturing considerations for optimising joint performance (strength). 
  • Be familiar with the theoretical methods for strength prediction of mechanical and bonded joints. 
  • Be acquainted with the techniques for repairing damage of composite components/structures.

Laminate Analysis

Understand the method for modelling the macromechanical behaviour of a lamina. This will include:  

  • stiffness and compliance matrices in the stress strain relationship and their form for in-plane loading; 
  • the form of these matrices for anisotropic, orthotropic (with respect to principal material axes and arbitrary axes) and isotropic materials; 
  • the relationship between engineering constants and the terms of the stiffness/compliance matrices. 

Model the macromechanical behaviour of a laminate using classical lamination theory. This will include:  

  • the connection between in-plane strains at any level within a laminate and mid-plane strains and curvatures of that laminate; 
  • mid-plane stress resultants and their relation to the mid-plane strains and curvatures via the [A-B-D] matrix (the constitutive equation for laminates); 
  • coupling and layup strategies to eliminate this coupling; 
  • parallel axis theorem for the assembly of the [A-B-D] matrix for a laminate from the knowledge of the [A-B-D]matrices of the constituent sub-laminates. 

Extend classical lamination theory to include the effect of a uniform temperature change (and moisture change by analogy). This will include:  

  • expansion coefficients of an orthotropic lamina with respect to the principal material axes and arbitrary axes; 
  • the development of the constitutive equation for a laminate subjected to both mechanical loading and a temperature change; 
  • the layup rules for avoiding curvature due to a temperature change. 

Predict the strength of a laminate. This will include:  

  • knowledge of the failure modes and strengths of an orthotropic unidirectional lamina when loaded either uniaxially or in pure shear in the principal material directions; 
  • failure criteria for an orthotropic lamina subjected to a combination of in-plane loads (limit and interactive criteria) 
  • prediction of the first ply failure load of a laminate and strategies for predicting the ultimate failure load 

Design

Lectures: General approaches to design - Problems & advantages in designing with composites - Methods for design with composites - Applications to passenger aircraft industry. 
Students: Be familiar with general design procedures - Understand problems and advantages in designing with composites - Understand considerations when choosing material & dimensions - Be familiar with particular design examples 

Analytical Techniques

  • To be able to choose an appropriate analytical method and describe its principle of operation and the type of information available 
  • To appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of different analytical methods, especially for application to problems involving composite materials 
  • Appreciation of fractographic techniques for polymer composites. 

Module syllabus

Lifecycle assessment and recycling of composite materials

The students will learn how to quantify the environmental impacts of the manufacturing processes and the materials. Various environmental impact assessment boundaries (gate-to-gate, cradle-to-gate or cradle-to-crave) will be introduced. Recycling techniques for composite materials (metal and polymers) will be discussed.

Part A: Lifecycle assessment of composite materials
1. LCA in a nutshell
2. LCA methodology
     a. Scope definition
     b. Inventory analysis
3. Lifecycle Impact assessment
4. Data interpretation and presentation
5. Hotspot analysis and waste management

Part B: Recycling of composite materials
1. Methods of recycling
    a. Metal composites
    b. Polymer composites
    c. Nanocomposites
2. Importance of recycling in the context of lifecycle assessment

Joining and Repair of Fibre-Reinforced Plastics
The course consists of five two-hour lectures and includes advantages and disadvantages of adhesively bonded and mechanically fastened (bolted) joints, typical joint configurations, mechanism of load transfer, design and manufacturing considerations, and performance and stress analysis of bonded and mechanical fastened joints, and repair procedures.

Laminate Analysis

Macromechanical behaviour of a lamina: stress-strain equations and the stiffness and compliance matrices for anisotropic, orthotropic and isotropic materials; principal material axes (1,2) for orthotropic materials; simplification for plane stress (reduced stiffness matrix; stress-strain relationship for an orthotropic lamina with respect to arbitrary axes (x, y) (transformed reduced stiffness matrix); engineering constants in the x, y axes. 
Macromechanical behaviour of a laminate: classical lamination theory; mid-plane strains and curvatures; mid-plane stress resultants; [A-B-D] matrix; coupling effects and layup rules to eliminate these; parallel axis theorem for [A-B-D] 
Thermal and moisture expansion influence on laminate behaviour: orthotropic lamina expansion coefficients in 1, 2 and x, y axes; constitutive equation including expansion effects; calculation of stresses in a laminate due to a temperature change. 
Laminate strength prediction: failure modes for unidirectional laminate; strength criteria including limit and interactive strength criteria; prediction of first ply failure of a laminate; prediction of the ultimate strength of a laminate.

Design

Design philosophy and procedures ("systems approach"). Simple design studies (pressure vessels, torsion bar, etc.); factors of safety. Use of computer programs and other methods. Case studies to illustrate reasons for failure, design process, materials selection, manufacturing method. (Industrial lectures). 

Analytical Techniques

Outline of mode of operation, and their use as "tools" for investigations, of standard analytical methods, such as: volume fraction analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, thermal analysis, laser Raman spectroscopy, etc. Methodology for fractographic analysis. Tools for fractography (optical and electron microscopy). Translaminar failure modes (tension, compression, shear and bending). Intralaminar failure modes (ply splitting and matrix cracking). Interlaminar failure modes (peel, shear, tearing and mixed mode). Defects and damage. Fatigue. Effect of architecture. Case studies.

Pre-requisites

Joining and Repair of Fibre-Reinforced Plastics

The student needs a basic understanding of composite laminate analysis and behaviour.

Laminate Analysis

AERO97036 Revision Stress Analysis

Design

Good Introduction to Composite Materials Science and Engineering.

Teaching methods

Lifecycle assessment and recycling of composite materials

The course will be taught using a combination of lectures and solving examples on the whiteboard. Lecture slides and pre-printed notes will be made available to supplement the materials taught in lectures.

Joining and Repair of Fibre-Reinforced Plastics

Course notes will be available in the form of PowerPoint. Students will receive hardcopies of the slides (4 per page) on the day of the lectures.

Laminate Analysis

Lecture notes and slides will be issued. 
Tutorial sheets containing a number of solved practice problems will be issued during the course

Design

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

Analytical Techniques

The course is presented using a combination of the whiteboard and Powerpoint presentation and pre-printed notes (Physical Characterisation) and course text Book (Fractography). 

Assessments

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

Lifecycle assessment and recycling of composite materials

There is 1 question in Paper 3 on this lecture topic.

Joining and Repair of Fibre-Reinforced Plastics

There is 1 exam question in Paper 3.

Laminate Analysis

This module is assessed by a written examination. 
 
For the MSc in Composites questions on this module will be contained in Paper 3 – note this covers more than one module (please refer to the student handbook). There will be two questions on this module.  
 
For the MSc courses in Advanced Computational Methods and Advanced Aeronautical Engineering this module will be examined in a single paper. There will be two questions and full marks may be obtained by correctly answering ONE question. 

Design

There is 1 question in Paper 3 on this lecture topic.

Analytical Techniques

There is 1 question in exam Paper 3 on this lecture topic. 

Reading list

Core

Supplementary

Core

Supplementary

Supplementary