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Unit information: Mechanics of Composite Materials in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Mechanics of Composite Materials
Unit code AENGM0053
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Ivanov
Open unit status Not open



For students with no engineering background: elements of elasticity theory and introductory knowledge of mechanics of materials covered in Structural Analysis and Advanced Composite Materials.

School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit aims at developing a fundamental understanding of the mechanical performance of composites through modelling of materials and stiffness properties at various scales using micromechanics and laminate theories, and through experimental characterisation, and data acquisition and analysis. Students acquire practical skills for composite analysis and composite materials testing.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Design and set up experiments for composite property identification.
  2. Perform measurements using various strain measurement techniques and process experimental data.
  3. Calculate effective properties of composites using a range of theories.
  4. Assess damage and failure mechanisms in characteristic loadings.
  5. Perform numerical analysis of composite samples / simple composite structures and validate simulations based on appropriate numerical approaches.

Teaching details

The unit will comprise lectures, seminars, experimental tutorials, finite element computer labs, practical sessions and numerical simulations. These sessions are not assessed but support student development in all the aspects of the course and prepare them for completing the assignment.

Assessment Details

The assessment for the unit is a 15-minute presentation (20%) and a report (80%) in a form of extended presentation slides (no page limit) comprising experimental results, numerical models of experiments and analytical estimates of material effective properties and internal stresses.

The report needs to demonstrate all the ILO’s of the unit, in an extensive analysis covering selected tests.

Reading and References

  • Process and Mechanical Modelling of Engineering Composites, A. Pickett, 2018
  • Polymer Composites in the Aerospace Industry, P.E. Irving and C. Soutis, Editors. 2015,
  • Elsevier Woodhead: Cambridge. Micromechanics of Composite Materials, Aboudi J., Arnold S.M., Bednarcyk B.A., Elsevier, 2013
  • Appropriate journal paper references are supplied on the lectures for each component of the course.