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ME40319: Composite materials

[Page last updated: 27 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Mechanical Engineering
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
ME40319 Reassessment Examination (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
To give engineering students an understanding of the nature of composite materials and how this determines their successful application.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student will have:
* Demonstrated an appreciation of the properties of composite materials and how they arise.
* Demonstrated a knowledge and understanding of the key areas of manufacturing technology, the importance of the correct choice of material and configuration, and the factors limiting the structural performance and service life of the component, and methods for fault detection and life prediction.

Facilitated - intellectual, practical.

Introduction and micromechanics: Comparison of mechanical properties of composites with other engineering materials. Anisotropy. Longitudinal and transverse elastic moduli of FRPs, Rule of Mixtures. Determination of modulus of elasticity as a function of orientation. Strength of composites parallel and perpendicular to fibres, Krenchel coefficients. Load transfer in composites, interfacial shear, critical fibre lengths, critical aspect ratio. Inter-laminar shear strength. Toughness of composites, Cook-Gordon effect, fracture energy of composites. Manufacture of composites.
Composite laminates: Comparison of carbon fibre laminates and aluminium alloys. Laminate analysis/ design. Material coupling. Failure criteria (strength and stiffness).
Sandwich structures: Review of sandwich structures. Design and analysis of sandwich structures. In-plane failure modes. Case study example of a honeycomb structure. Impact behaviour of composite and sandwich panels.
NDT: Role of NDT in quality control and in in-service inspection of aircraft. Review of types of defect found in aircraft and their hazards. X-ray inspection, sources, recording, sensitivity, radiation safety. Dye penetrant crack detection. Ultrasonic testing, ultrasonic wave propagation and reflection. Transducers, coupling. A-scan, b-scan, c-scan, shear wave and surface wave inspection techniques. Electrical methods, eddy current, potential drop, magnetic methods. Special inspection problems posed by composite materials. "The ageing aircraft programme".
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

ME40319 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • UEME-AFM04 : MEng(Hons) Aerospace Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM04 : MEng(Hons) Aerospace Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • UEME-AFM48 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM48 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • UEME-AFM16 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM16 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • UEME-AFM47 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical with Automotive Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM47 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical with Automotive Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)