The increasingly complicated composite formulations and in-service conditions, as well as the advent of multifunctional composites, means inspection and characterisation of composites is challenging and requires well developed expert knowledge. The Composite Centre is world-leading in fractography of composites, which is used to underpin the research into composite damage and failure processes, and bridge between experimental observations and predictive models. There is also considerable activity on inspection methods for composites, including development and advancement of structural health monitoring methods for composite components.

Fractography of composites

Prof GreenhalghFI

Professor Greenhalgh is world-leading in failure analysis and fractography of polymer composites, with over thirty years experience in this field. This discipline has been employed for studying micro-mechanisms in composite materials (and hence underpinning physically based model development), investigation of failures in structural components, through to post-mortem investigations, both in-service and from industry. This includes acting as an expert witness in litigation cases and undertaking accident investigations on both vehicles and components (aerospace and non-aerospace). Professor Greenhalgh is sole author of the seminal textbook on composites fractography, and has been invited to give a number of presentations and keynote lectures on this topic, including an award winning article in Materials World (IOM3). Finally, Prof Greenhalgh teaches a module on fractography as part of the Composites MSc and has delivered short courses on polymer composite fractography at NASA Langley (US), Air Accident Investigation Branch (UK) and Rolls-Royce (UK).

Structural health monitoring of composite structures

Dr Z. Sharif Khodaei, Prof M.H. Aliabadizs2

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is an emerging technology covering the development and implementation of technologies and methodologies for monitoring, inspection and damage assessment based on integrated sensors. The acquired data in combination with advanced signal processing techniques can provide maintenance actions upon demand.

Dr Sharif Khodaei and Professor Aliabadi have developed various SHM methodologies and  technologies for structural diagnosis of metallic and composite structures. The developed SHM technologies are based on Fibre Optic and Piezo-electric sensors. They have been part of many SHM projects (e.g. from FP7 CleanSky: SARISTU) with the latest one being core-partners in CleanSky 2 programme with SHERLOC project.