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Unit information: Constituents of composites in 2021/22

Unit name Constituents of composites
Unit code AENGM0015
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Partridge
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit forms part of the taught component of the EngD programme in Composites Manufacture. It introduces Research Engineers to the wide range of synthetic resin matrices available, making a distinction between thermosetting and thermoplastic matrices and the wide range of corresponding fibrous reinforcements and their different forms. Laboratory demonstrations of liquid resins, prepregs and dry preforms will be made, together with demonstrations of analytical techniques and use of thermo-mechanical characterisation equipment. The course will be delivered from a materials science perspective with particular emphasis on the application of these methodologies to advanced fibre reinforced polymer composites. The specialist knowledge and understanding gained through this course will provide the Research Engineers with the essential foundation required for study of composite materials. The aims of this unit are to:

  1. Provide Research Engineers with the fundamental basis for study, by giving an overview of the individual material components of polymer matrix composites
  2. Introduce the concept of matrix-reinforcement interface at multiple scales and the implications of that interface on processing – structure – property relationships
  3. Introduce physico-chemical and thermo-mechanical, spectroscopic and microscopy methods of characterisation of the constituent elements and of the interfaces

Intended Learning Outcomes

The students will be able to:

  1. Provide a clear overview of the diverse range of component materials used in the manufacture of polymer composites, their complex hierarchical structure and describe their unique engineering properties
  2. Understand some of the issues and methodologies involved in the selection of composites for specific applications
  3. Select suitable characterisation techniques to evaluate relevant physico-chemical and thermo-mechanical characteristics of composites constituents; interpret data obtained from them

The learning outcomes align to A1 and B2 of the UK-SPEC

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, which may include lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

Written assignment (100%)

This assessment will develop the student's theoretical understanding of the nature of, and the interactions between, the components of fibre reinforced polymer composites.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. AENGM0015).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.