Composites - Materials and Applications


The syllabus covers a wide range of composite materials, fabrication technologies and application domains, in order to support the main objectives of the curricular unit:

- understanding the differing roles played by the constitutive materials used for the fabrication of a composite, within a logical framework based on performance optimization with an emphasis on final use;

- understanding how the known relation between material structure and properties is enhanced by the characteristics of the interface generated between the constitutive materials, as well as by the particular architecture assumed by the reinforcement arrangement;

- understanding the fundamental challenges involved, during the fabrication step, in constituting a new, fully functional and optimized material from start materials often with few compatibilities from the chemical and thermodynamical standpoints;

- understanding the constraints on fabrication technologies – often developed through modification of known technologies for conventional materials’ processing – in order to be capable of simultaneously affecting the structure and shape of very dissimilar materials, as well as conferring the intended architecture to the reinforcement;

- understanding how the above mentioned issues affect the path leading from raw material to finished part, leading to an integrated approach in composite part design, as well as taking into account the relative merits and penalties incurred when substituting a composite material for a conventional unreinforced material in a given application.


A part of the treatment of the subject deals with recent advances in composite material development, with a special emphasis on functionally graded composites, syntactic composites and Shape-Memory Alloy reinforced SMARt composites, for which adequate experience has been accumulated due to research work performed at DCM-CENIMAT/I3N.


Finally, it should be emphasized that the topics presented support the students on performing laboratorial work going from simple composite fabrication experiments, to the structural characterization and corresponding mechanical properties of composites