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Before choosing course

There is a strong development in new materials from biomass. New knowledge from a life cycle analysis perspective and in material development and product design are needed in this context. The course also covers structure-property relationships in biofibers, biopolymers, and biocomposites based on cellulose. In addition, biocomposites in nature are treated such as bone, wood, insect cuticle, teeth etc are discussed since they offer interesting models for sophisticated materials and product design.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
* Retrieved from Course syllabus SD2505 (Autumn 2007–)

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Material classes, biological fibers, biopolymers, micromechanics of composites, composites in nature (exoskeleton, shells, teeth, plants), industrial biocomposites, biodegradation, life cycle analysis

Intended learning outcomes

After the course the student should be able to

  • Explain structure-property relationships in biopolymers, biofibers, biocomposites and cellular biomaterials.
  • Choose and apply micromechanical models to estimate properties of biocomposites and cellular biomaterials
  • Explain Ashby’s material property diagrams based on the structure of materials
  • Explain concepts such as functional gradient, hierarchical structure, biomimetics, ecodesign and ecoindicator
  • Analyze and summarize scientific journal article in the field

Course Disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Basic solid mechanics (beam theory etc).

Recommended prerequisites

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Selected chapters from:

Wainwright SA, Biggs WD, Currey JD, Gosline JM, Mechanical design in organisms, John Wiley and Sons, 1976

Gibson LJ, Ashby MJ, Cellular solids, Pergamon Press, 1988

Hull, D, Clyne TW, An introduction to composite materials, 2nd ed, Cambridge University Press, 1996

Berglund L, Biocomposites-lecture notes

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LAB1 - Laboratory Work, 1,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 2,0 hp, betygsskala: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • TEN2 - Examination, 3,0 hp, betygsskala: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • ÖVN1 - Assignments, 1,0 hp, betygsskala: A, B, C, D, E, FX, 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

Midterm exam (2 cr), written final exam (3 cr), homework assignments (1 cr), lab reports (1 cr)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Lars Berglund

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

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Offered by

SCI/Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering

Main field of study

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Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

SD2500, SD2510, SD2515