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Unit information: Process modelling and control in composites manufacture in 2014/15

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Unit name Process modelling and control in composites manufacture
Unit code AENGM0019
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Ivanov
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This is a compulsory 10 cp unit which is part of a 180 cp MRes in Composites Manufacture, within the compulsory taught component of EngD programme in Composites Manufacture. The unit will provide thorough understanding of changes in the degree of cure of thermosets, of thermoplastic melting, mass and heat flow as well as deformation phenomena encountered in generic composite manufacturing processes. Further purpose of the unit is to introduce modern experimental methods of process monitoring and control in composites manufacturing processes as well as associated software tools. Modelling methods for prediction of degree of cure, residual stresses and deformation, degree of consolidation/filling and deformation during forming will be outlined. Experimental methods for the in situ characterisation of relevant process variables will be described.

The aim of this unit is to:

  1. Provide the Research Engineers with an understanding of the physico-chemical transformations occurring during composites manufacturing.
  2. Introduce the Research Engineers to the methodologies tools appropriate for quantitative modelling of composites processing.
  3. Demonstrate the capabilities of on-line monitoring technologies.

Intended learning outcomes

The students will be able to:

  1. Have a solid understanding of the fundamental physico-chemical process involved in the transformation of matrix and fibre components into a polymer matrix composite product.
  2. Appreciate issues and methodologies involved in process control in the manufacture of composite structures
  3. Demonstrate awareness of commercially available software tools for process modelling and ability to use selected packages for simple cases
  4. Demonstrate understanding of the applicability of monitoring techniques to composites processing

Teaching details

  • 18 lectures
  • 1 specialist external lecture
  • Software demonstrations
  • Class exercises

Assessment Details

  • Report on Computer Assignment (85%)1
  • 20 minute Assessed Presentation (15%)2

Note 1: This assessment will develop the student’s theoretical understanding of the nature of and the interactions between the components of fibre reinforced polymer composites, specifically during the processes of liquid resin infusion and cure.

Note 2: The marks awarded for the 20 minute presentation (15 minute presentation and 5 minutes for technical questions) will be equally distributed between Academic and Peer Review assessment. This method of assessment was designed with the size of the cohort in mind (10 students) and provides them with an excellent opportunity to develop and build on their transferable skills.

Reading and References

  • Course book : “Fundamentals of fibre reinforced composite materials” by A R Bunsell and J Renard, IoP
  • “An introduction to Composite Materials” by D Hull and T W Clyne, 2nd edition, CUP
  • “Process Modeling in Composites Manufacturing” by Suresh G. Advani, E. Murat Sozer, CRC Press