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Unit information: Elements of Polymer Composites in 2015/16

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Unit name Elements of Polymer Composites
Unit code AENG34730
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Rahatekar
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is intended to provide students with specialist knowledge of Polymer Composites which is not commonly taught to UG students. It will develop students - in depth understanding of materials properties to allow them to undertake research in designing and testing composites materials. It will cover the elements of polymer composites such as polymer resin chemistry, types of fibres and their microstructure and properties, fibre and polymer resin interface, and characterisation of polymer composites using techniques such as DSC, DMA, rheometer, etc.

The aim of this unit is to:

  1. Provide an understanding of polymerization chemistry associated with common resins used in composites.
  2. Understand microstructure and chemical structure of fibres such as glass, ceramics, metal, carbon and aramide.
  3. Introduce aspects of the chemistry controlling the interfaces between matrix and fibres, in particular the phenomena of adhesion, adsorption and wetting.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit the student will:

  1. Understand the chemistry of cross linking of polymer resins.
  2. Understand the types of fibres, fibre structure and properties commonly used in polymer composites.
  3. Understand the surface treatment of fibres to improve fibre matrix bonding.
  4. Apply polymer characterization techniques used in composite materials research.

Teaching Information

  • 14 Lectures of 1 hour + 3 Guest Lectures
  • 1 Lab demonstration of 2 hours.
  • 1 Lab based materials characterisation experiment of 2 hours.

Assessment Information

  • A 20% - Written Assessment
  • B 60% - Essay
  • C 20% - Lab Assignment

Reading and References

  • Lecture Notes
  • An Introduction to Composites Materials, Hull and Clyne
  • Principles of Polymerization, G.Odion
  • Plastics Materials, J. Brydson