Photoelastic image of microstructural damage in a composite
To underpin the development of new fibre reinforced materials an excellent understanding of composite materials is essential. The science and technology of composites continues to develop with notable advances in the areas of transportation and aerospace. Much can be learnt from these sectors and applied to composite reinforced with other fibre types, such as natural bio-based fibres and their derivatives. This course provides a grounding for further study
We will principally consider “micro-scale” reinforcement: this is not a course about nanotechnology, though we will discuss the utilisation of nanoscale reinforcement and fillers. Further, we will generally consider composites as “engineering materials” and so the main emphasis will be on mechanical properties and the factors that govern these. In particular strategies that might enable us to improve the performance of low environmental impact composites. However, this is not a course devoted to ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ composites either, though great emphasis will be placed on bio-based reinforcements: wood and non-wood fibre, regenerated cellulose, micro-fibrillated cellulose and cellulose nanocrystals.