Advanced Manufacturing

Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce the manufacturing processes of composite materials and their corresponding underlying manufacturing principles to provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between design, manufacturing processing and materials properties. This module discusses basic transport equations and constitutive laws used in composite processing, followed by detailed quantitative/qualitative discussion and analytical analysis of polymer matrix, metal matrix and ceramic matrix composite manufacturing. Various composite manufacturing methods are discussed, including short polymer fibre composites, advanced thermoplastic composites, advanced thermoset composites, melt metallurgical processes, powder metallurgical processes, advanced hybrid fibre metal laminates and ceramic matrix composite manufacturing route via melt infiltration, chemical vapour infiltration and polymer impregnation and pyrolysis processes. The real life applications of each manufacturing processes are also covered in this module. The module will consist of timetabled lectures deliver by two academics with the relevant research expertise.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this course, the students will be familiar with the different types of manufacturing processes to produce polymer, metal or ceramic matrix composites. Students will be able to:
• Derive the basic transport equations and constitutive laws for composite processing
• Identify the key characteristics of different composite manufacturing processes and their associated advantages/disadvantages
• Select the appropriate manufacturing processes based on precursor materials
• Design and model the manufacturing processes of composite materials
• Understand the influence of manufacturing parameters on the finished composite parts

Module syllabus

Basic transport equations and constitutive laws for composite processing: Continuity equation (in the presence of fibres), resin/suspension viscosities, reaction kinetics and permeability.
Polymer matrix composite manufacturing - Short fibre composites: Compression moulding, extrusion and injection moulding with detailed analytical analysis on the basic steps involved, flow model and cure cycle.
Polymer matrix composite manufacturing – Advanced thermoplastic composites: Sheet forming processes and pultrusion with detailed discussion of cell model and consolidation of thermoplastics.
Polymer matrix composites manufacturing – Advanced thermoset composites: Autoclaving, liquid moulding and filament winding. The processing steps involved, flow model, process model, heat transfer and resin flow of all these processes will be discussed.
Metal matrix composites manufacturing – Melt metallurgical process, powder metallurgical process and hybrid composite: Pressure-less and pressurised infiltration processes, discontinuously reinforced metal matrix composites – formation of billets for forging, extrusion and rolling processes and continuously reinforced metal matrix composites – diffusion bonding of foils, manufacturing principles of GLARE, fabrication of GLARE parts and structures and mechanical behaviour of GLARE for Aircraft structures. 
Ceramic matrix composites manufacturing – Melt infiltration, Chemical Vapour Infiltration and Polymer Impregnation and Pyrolysis Process: The processing steps involved: Coating of fibre tows to tailor the fibre/matrix interface, manufacturing composite green body, generate porous preform and Si infiltration process and applications, Isothermal CVI and Gradient CVI, manufacturing of preform and pyrolysis. 
Composite parts finishing: In this part, the basics of wetting and adhesion will be discussed. This is then followed by bonding, joining and repair of composite parts, finishing by machine techniques.

Teaching methods

The course will consist of lectures, in class discussion of problems and supplemented by appropriate readings and articles delivered via Blackboard.


There will be a 2 hour written examination in January (100%)


Reading list

Ceramic Composites

Metal Composites

Polymer Composites