Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Composite Materials

Module aims

This module will cover the essential concepts of composite materials, including the mechanics of fibre and particle reinforced composites and their methods of manufacture. The emerging field of functional composite materials will also be reviewed.

ECTS = 5

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, students will be able to: 

1. Predict the elastic constants of a ply of a fibre reinforced composite using micromechanics

2. Design a laminate to meet a given force/moment bearing capacity 

3. Explain the manufacturing processes of composites and use this knowledge to describe means of mitigating processing defects, such as porosity within parts

4. Explain the role nanostructures play in functional composites

5. Explain the toughening mechanisms in resins, nano-composites and fibre reinforced composites

Module syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Materials
  • Reinforcement types
  • Matrix materials
  • Reinforcement architectures
  • Micromechanics of FRPs
  • Macromechanics; failure criteria. 
  • Micromechanics of particle filled composites. 
  • Toughening mechanisms. Brittle material toughening mechanisms. 
  • Curing
  • Defects
  • Fibre (mis)alignment

Teaching methods

Students will be introduced to the main topics through lectures (1 per week), supported by technology (PowerPoint, Panapto and Blackboard). Short activities (using interactive pedagogies) will occasionally be introduced in the classroom setting to reinforce learning, for example through mentimeter and the like. You will be provided with problem  sheets and should complete these as part of your independent study. Tutorials sessions (2-3 per term) will provide an opportunity for interaction with teaching staff where you can discuss specific problems.


Assessment details        
      Pass mark   
Grading method Numeric   50%
Assessment type Assessment description Weighting Pass mark Must pass?
Examination 3 Hour exam 100% 50% Y

Reading list

Module leaders

Professor John Dear