Designed to give a broad introduction to polymer composites, our one-day classroom course provides attendees with the necessary background knowledge to enable informed discussions with customers, colleagues and collaborators.
The following modules can be included, mixing and matching to tailor content:
What is a composite material?
We'll walk you through the fundamentals of composites – what they’re made up of, how they work, their properties and characteristics, and their advantages and disadvantages compared to other materials.
Polymer matrices for composite materials
We begin by providing a general introduction to polymers, explaining what they are and how they differ from other materials. We then look more closely at the differences between thermosetting and thermoplastic polymers before highlighting some of the commonly used examples and comparing their performance.
Composite materials reinforcements and additives
This module gives an overview of the different types of reinforcements that are commonly used in composites and compares and contrasts their performance. We also e introduce the concept of self-reinforced polymer composites, as well as discussing other composite ingredients that may be encountered, including coatings, cores and fillers.
Here we review semi-processed composite materials such as fabrics, prepregs and moulding compounds in order to understand the drivers behind their use and their methods of manufacture.
Composite material processing
There are a wide range of manufacturing options available for consolidating fibres and polymers into moulded composite parts. These range from labour-intensive, low volume processes to sophisticated automated technologies capable of higher volume continuous production. The choice of manufacturing route for a given part will be largely driven by its required properties and the number of parts needed. This module provides an overview of the common composite manufacturing processes and provides guidance on their usage.
Application of composites
This module explores the strengths and weaknesses of composites and discusses some of the the key considerations that must be taken into account when specifying a material for a given application. Using a sector-by-sector approach, we explain why and when composite materials are used in place of other “conventional” materials and provide an overview of current and emerging applications.
Composite material failure and repair
In this module, we provide an introduction to composite material failure, including mechanical failure, environmental degradation and fire. From here, we outline some of the techniques which have been developed to examine and inspect composite materials and highlight a number of repair techniques that can be employed.
Composite material properties
The overall performance of a composite will be largely dependent upon the properties of its constituent fibre reinforcements and polymer matrix. This module examines the properties of typical fibres and polymers, and shows how these can be used to estimate the properties of a resulting composite.
Designing with composites
Designing with composites is generally more complex than designing with metals. Much of this complexity arises from the directional properties of composites and their multi-material nature that gives rise to various possible failure modes. This module provides an introductory overview of some of the options that are available to a designer when estimating the properties and performance of composite parts. Particular attention is given to the specific challenges associated with composite design with the intention of helping designers to make an informed decision as to the most suitable approach for a particular analysis.
If our standard courses are not quite right for you, don’t worry! We offer bespoke packages in which we can tailor the course content, duration and location to suit your specific requirements. Examples of the additional modules we have developed and delivered include:
Introduction to thermoplastic composites
Interest in thermoplastic composites is growing. They now offer real alternatives to traditional thermoset-based composites which rely on an irreversible and generally slow cure cycles. In contrast, thermoplastic composites can utilise very fast thermoforming manufacturing processes and can be re-shaped upon the application of heat. This opens-up manufacturing, reuse and recycling options that are not open to thermosets. In addition they can offer impact-resistance and weight-saving advantages. This module provides an introduction to thermoplastic matrix composites, including the materials commonly used, the formats of those materials and the methods of processing them.
Introduction to nanocomposites
The addition of small quantities of nanoscale particulates, such as nanoclays, carbon nanotubes, nanographite and graphene can be an effective means of modifying the properties of a polymer matrix composite. Mechanical properties, thermal properties, electrical properties and fire performance can all be enhanced through the selective addition of nanoparticles. However, this is an emerging technical area and challenges remain, particularly in terms of ensuring uniform nanoparticulate dispersion in up-scaled composite manufacturing. This module provides an introduction to nanocomposites, including the materials, their processing and the achievable improvements in performance. It is aimed at people who already have a basic understanding or polymer composite materials.
100% would recommend our training courses to a colleague.
Provided clear a easy to follow introductory material on composite materials. The slides were detailed and the presenter provided additional information to support the contents.
Thank you for an excellent introduction to composite materials.
Very useful starter if someone is interested in looking into the composites industry - especially design. The presenter was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable on the subject, and could answer all questions well.
It provides a good overview of composite materials, properties and production. The practical part was very interesting for me as a chemist.
Wide overview of composite processes. Well organised, well done!
It's great to have "classroom lessons" as well as practical parts. A lo of samples were shown, also in the theoretical part.
Very good overall overview.
...perfect for someone who [is] interested to learn more about composites.
This introduction to composites was very well presented.
New to the subject, so this is set at a good level and pace.
Well organised event providing basic knowledge, but very useful and interesting.
Very useful and covered almost [all] areas of composites.
Marvellous training course, which is helpful for students.
Very well presented and very interesting.
It was a very easy to understand introduction to composites which I have found very interesting even without an engineering background. It will probably make me look at materials in a very different way.Very clearly presented. Well done!