Composites are used in many industries today to enable high-performance products at economic advantage. These industries range from space to sports and include manufactured products for aircraft, transportation, energy, construction, sports, marine, and medical use. There are many material, economic and aesthetic advantages to using composites, but a solid knowledge of the physical properties, including the mechanics, tooling, design, inspection & repair, and manufacturing options is required for working in this medium as they are intrinsically linked.
This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of composite materials for high performance structures from the point of view of Aerospace engineering design, manufacturing, and repair. It is designed to address critical areas of composite technologies that focus on materials, manufacturing, mechanics, design, inspection, and repair. In this course students will learn how composite materials achieve properties of strength, weight ratios and durability that surpass aluminum in aircraft design. For these high performance applications engineers typically rely on laminated structures, which are built up from many varying layers of ply-materials. Using this process the mechanical properties of the composite part can be tailored to specific applications resulting in significant weight and cost savings. Tailoring specific properties and designing innovative laminate structures highlights the multidisciplinary nature of this industry and how it touches the expertise of many disciplines including engineers, mechanics, and inspection specialists.
After successfully completing this course, students will be able to identify the unique characteristics of composites and understand how advanced composite structures are designed, manufactured and maintained.