The course aims to give the student theoretical and practical knowledge of composite materials. The main part of the course deals with theoretical principles which are then put into practice in a design assignment and a computer exercise.
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This course deals with the theory, analysis and design of fibre reinforced composite materials. Composite materials, e.g. carbon fibre composites, are highly efficient materials for structural applications enabling substantial weight savings and thereby reduced energy consumption and environmental impact for especially vehicles such as a cars, trucks, airliners, ships and trains. A composite material is built up of two or more constituents; a fibre phase and a matrix phase. The architecture is such that enables tailoring of properties by utilising the stiff and strong fibre in the directions where they are most useful. However, this creates an anisotropic material which requires special treatment in its analysis and design.
In this course we develop the theory for composite laminates in order to predict stiffness and strength properties. We develop a special computer code for its application to general types of laminates. We then extend this to study composite plates. We also study some other special features of composite laminates including an overview of how to use FEM when designing composite structures. At the end of the course an open-ended design problem is solved in order to train engineering skills. Industrial relevance of the course contents are provided by guest lectures from industry.
Intended learning outcomes *
After completing course the student shall be able to
Explain the mechanical behaviour of anisotropic materials and how they differ from classical construction materials
Apply classical lamination theory to analyse the stiffness and strength of composite laminates
Design a composite laminate with given requirements
To formulate and solve a composites design problem and communicate and defend the results orally
For higher grades, the student shall also
Be able to analyse composite plates subjected to various loads
Be familiar with methods for more advanced tools of composites analysis and design including failure theories and their implementation, the effect of holes, fatigue, and models for the prediction of compressive failure mechanisms and describe potential problems and ways to analyse composite structures with FEM.
This course has a classical (or if you like – old fashioned) setup. The lectures are given mainly on the white-/black board presenting theory combined with solving examples. The theory development is following a quite straight forward evolution in the first half of the course. The first part of the home work problem follows exactly the same evolution so the theory and the computer code are very much parallel. The pedagogic idea is thus that the computer exercise is a way to learn the theory. It also gives the student a very powerful aid for problem solving.
The second part of the course is more an overview of important aspects of the mechanics of composite materials. The theory is still given by lectures but there is less training by problem solving. Training in synthesising and design is provided in the design problem.
Literature and preparations
Specific prerequisites *
Completed degree project on Bachelor level.
SD2411 Lightweight Structures and FEM is strongly recommended. The course SD2414 – Fibre composites: Materials and processes, is recommended. Some experience with MatLab or programming in some other computer language is required.
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Zenkert D. and Battley M., Foundations of Fibre Composites, FLYG, paper 96-10, 1996.
Examination and completion
Grading scale *
A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
Grading scale: P, F
Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.
The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.
Other requirements for final grade *
Report from assignment (ÖVN1; 3 university credits) Written exam (TEN1; 3 university credits).
Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination
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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination