Composites Engineering is a core module for the BEng/MEng (honours) Mechanical Engineering with Composites (MEC) course. The UCAS codes are H302 (BEng)/H306 (MEng) and the UoP codes are 3126 (BEng)/4451 (MEng). The modules MATS 347, MATS 348 and MFRG 311 are the specific components of the Mechanical Engineering with Composites pathway. More information is available in the BEng (honours) Programme Specification.
This module integrates the learning from the Composites Design and Manufacture ..and.. Quality Management II modules in a
practical assignment to specify, design, manufacture, test and report on a prototype composite component.
Module Record (PUMR) for MATS 348: assessment is 0% examination and 100% coursework.
The components considered in this module (and the earlier modules MATS320 during 2001-2015 or MATS304 Composite Applications until AY2000/2001) were:
| Academic Year
| 1997/1998|| mountain bike suspension arm|
| 1998/1999|| bicycle front forks|
| 1999/2000|| yacht winch handle|
| 2000/2001|| skaters trolley|
| 2001/2002|| launching trolley for a dinghy|
| 2002/2003|| man-portable bridge|
| 2003/2004|| in-situ repair of a welded T-joint in an oiltank|
| 2004/2005|| yacht mast spreader|
| 2005/2006|| a crutch for a disabled table-tennis player|
| 2006/2007|| (a) car spoiler, (b) cross bow limb (published in
Composites Part B: Engineering)|
| 2007/2008|| legs for a bipedal robot|
| 2008/2009|| kite-surf board|
| 2009/2010|| (a/b) bicycle crank, (c) luge board|
| 2010/2011|| (a) gas turbine blade, (b) ice-axe handle, (c) recreational helmet.|
| 2011/2012|| bridge span of 584 mm with 100 mm square maximum cross-section.|
| 2012/2013|| a torsion rod or a torsion tube|
|| (a) bicycle sprocket, (b) in-wheel bicycle suspension, (c) coil over-spring (photos below table)|
|2014/2015|| composite car jack for motorsport|
|2015/2016|| wheel bracket for the Project Nevada hand-cycle|
|2016/2017||(a) motor cycle front foot rest, (b) ice axe shaft, (c) BMX brake calliper, (d) arctic tow hook.|
||(a) cycle brake lever, (b) long board truck bar, (c) subsea locking mechanism
2013/14c photographs courtesy of Mathew Brierley
- Alain Giocosa (Renault Guyancourt) in a Keynote Address (FPCM-8, Douai - France, 13 July 2006) suggested that each 100 kg saved in a passenger car translates to a fuel saving of 4 litres/1000 km.
- Costas Soutis (University of Sheffield) in Plastics, Rubber and Composites, 2009, 38(9/10), 359-366 states that "1 kg weight reduction saves over 2900L fuel per year" in the context of the Airbus A320.
- "Each kilogramme cut means a saving of roughly $1m (£603,000) in costs over the lifetime of an aircraft - and the use of [carbon fibre] composites can reduce the weight of an aircraft by up to 20%". Tim Bowler, Carbon fibre planes: Lighter and stronger by design, BBC News Business, 28 January 2014.
Unlikely but true ...
HEALTH & SAFETY
It is important that all students are aware of the Health and Safety considerations for this module. You will be required to attend the Health and Safety presentation and to sign to confirm that you have done so before you will be allowed to use the facilities in the ACMC laboratory (Brunel 007). This support material can be accessed
|Static short-term loads (construction industry)||2||1|
|Static long-term loads (construction industry)||4||1|
|Variable/changing loads (construction industry)||4||1|
|Repeated loads (construction industry)||6||1|
|Fatigue or load-reversal (construction industry)||6||1|
|Impact loads repeated (construction industry)||10||1|
|Composite manufacture by handwork||1.5||2|
|Composite manufacture by machine controlled spray application||1.5||2|
|Composite manufacture by hand-held spray application||3||2|
|Composite chemical pressure vessel with a thermoplastic liner||1.2||2|
|Composite chemical pressure vessel without a thermoplastic liner||up to 2||2|
|Composite operating temperature (dependent on HDT)||1.0-1.25||2|
|Composite post-cure to manufacturers specification||1.1||2|
|Composite for operation up to 45ºC||1.3||2|
|Composite for operation over 45ºC||1.3||2|
- SM Halliwell, Polymer composites in construction, Construction Research Communications Limited by permission of Building Research Establishment Limited, Watford/London, 2000. ISBN 1-86081-429-8. PU CSH Library.
- BS 4994:1987 Design and construction of vessels and tanks in reinforced plastics
|Pugh's design specification elements (Pugh, 1991)|
|Market constraints||Company constraints||Competition||Customer|
|Maintenance||Life in service||Product life span||Shelf life storage|
|Materials||Manufacturing facility||Product cost||Time scale|
- S Pugh, Total design: integrated methods for successful product engineering, Addison-Wesley Publishing, Harlow - UK, 1991. PU CSH Library.
- MF Ashby, Materials Selection in Mechanical Design,Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1992. ISBN 0-08-041907-0. Fourth edition: ISBN ISBN 978-1-85617-663-7. PU CSH Library.
- Daniel C Smoot and A Brent Strong, Product and Process Innovation - a review,
Journal of Advanced Materials, April 2006, 38(2), 64-79.
- A Brent Strong, Composites in Manufacturing - Case Studies, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 1991. ISBN 0-87263-406-x. PU CSH Library
- JFV Vincent, OA Bogatyreva, NR Bogatyrev, A Bowyer and A-K Pahl, Biomimetics: its practice and theory
Journal of the Royal Society - Interface (online).
Appendix 1: Altshuller’s 40 Inventive Principles
with biological examples
Appendix 2: Apportioning Altshuller’s conflict features and inventive principles
to the PRIZM categories.
Appendix 3: Examples of functions at various size scales in biology and
- Life cycle costing (review papers)
- MG Bader, Selection of composite materials and manufacturing routes for cost-effective performance, Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, July 2002, 33(7), 913-934.
- M Cabrera-Ríos and JM Castro, The balance between durability, reliability and affordability in structural composites manufacturing, Polymer Composites, 2007, 28(2), 233-240.
- EA Calado, M Leite and A Silva, Selecting composite materials considering cost and environmental impact in the early phases of aircraft structure design, Journal of Cleaner Production, 10 June 2018, 186, 113-122.
- B Crawford, D Tamaki and AS Milani, Cost modeling of the manufacture of a GFRP leisure boat hull for both open chopped spray moulding and resin infusion processes, Composites Research Network-Okanagan Node report CRNO-11082017-1, 28 August 2017.
The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions towards this research by NRC IRAP.
- L Dickinson, M Mohamed and B Lienhart, Cost modeling for 3D woven preforming process, International SAMPE Symposium "Bridging The Centuries", Long Beach CA, 21-25 May 2000, volume 45, pp 227-140.
- L Dickinson, M Salama and D Stobbe, Design approach for 3D woven composites: Cost vs. performance, International SAMPE Symposium "2001: A Materials and Processes Odyssey", Long Beach CA, 06-10 May 2001, volume 46, pp 765-778.
- MK Hagnell and M Akermo, A composite cost model for the aeronautical industry: methodology and case study, Composites Part B: Engineering, 15 September 2015, 79, 254-261.
- K Horejsi, J Noisternig, O Koch and R Schledjewski, Cost-based process selection for CFRP aerospace parts, JEC Composites magazine, May-June 2013, (81). 60-62.
- M Kaufmann, D Zenkert and C Mattei, Cost optimization of composite aircraft structures including variable laminate qualities, Composites Science and Technology, October 2008, 68(13), 2748-2754.
- SK Mazumdar, Cost Estimation, Chapter 11 in SK Mazumdar, Composites Manufacturing - materials, product and process engineering, CRC Press, Boca Raton FL, 2002. ISBN 0-8493-0585-3. PU CSH Library
- J Meredith, E Bilson, R Powe, E Collings and K Kirwan, A performance versus cost analysis of prepreg carbon fibre epoxy energy absorption structures, Composite Structures, June 2015, 124, 206-213.
- P Mårtensson, D Zenkert and M Åkermo, Effects of manufacturing constraints on the cost and weight efficiency of integral and differential automotive composite structures, Composite Structures, 15 December 2015, 134, 572-578.
- JD Russell, Composites Affordability Initiative: successes, failures - where do we go from here?, SAMPE Journal, March/April 2007, 43(2), 26-36.
- TA Turner, LT Harper, NA Warrior and CD Rudd, Low-cost carbon-fibre-based automotive body panel systems: a performance and manufacturing cost comparison,
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering, 2008, 222(1), 53-63.
- WJC Verhagen, PB Garcia, P Mariot, J-P Cotton, D Ruiz, R Redon and R Curran, Knowledge-based cost modelling of composite wing structures, International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, 2012, 25(4-5), 368-383.
- J Verrey, MD Wakeman, V Michaud, J-AE Månson, Manufacturing cost comparison of thermoplastic and thermoset RTM for an automotive floor pan, Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, January 2006, 37(1), 9-22.
- F Weiland, C Weimer, F Dumont, ChV Katsiropoulos, SpG Pantelakis, I Sitaras, AA Skordos, E Berthe, P de Luca, Process and cost modelling applied to manufacture of complex aerospace composite part, Plastics, Rubber and Composites, December 2013, 42(10), 427-436.
- J Zeilon, Cost-effective manufacturing systems for composite parts, JEC Composites magazine, July 2013, (82), 28-29.
- K Zimmermann, Cost and weight analysis of ultra thick laminates for compact landing gear fitting, Plastics, Rubber and Composites: Macromolecular Engineering, May 2013, 42(4), 137-143(7).
- BA Ahmed Ali, SM Sapuan, ES Zainudin and M Othman, Implementation of the expert decision system for environmental assessment in composite materials selection for automotive components, Journal of Cleaner Production, 16 November 2015, 107, 557-567.
- M Raugei, D Morrey, A Hutchinson and P Winfield, A coherent life cycle assessment of a range of lightweighting strategies for compact vehicles, Journal of Cleaner Production, 1 December 2015, 108, 1168-1176.