AENGM0091 Composites Design, Manufacture and Product Development UOB Assignment Sample UK

The unit AENGM0091 Composites Design, Manufacture, and Product Development offered by UOB provides comprehensive insights into the entire process of composite product development. It covers various aspects such as intellectual property assessment, design principles, manufacturing methods, product development skills, and the underlying physical mechanisms involved in composites processing.

By studying this unit, students gain a fundamental understanding of composite manufacturing, enabling them to approach the design of composite products holistically. They learn how to analyze manufacturing processes, consider design-for-manufacture principles, mitigate defects, and determine the initial structural sizing of composite components.

Overall, this unit equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully navigate the complexities of composite product development. It provides them with a solid foundation to effectively contribute to the design, manufacturing, and product development processes within the field of composites.

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Assignment Activity 1: Describe composite constituents, manufacturing routes, applications, and failure theories

Composite Constituents:

Composite materials are composed of two or more distinct materials that work together to create enhanced properties. The constituents of composites include:

  1. Matrix: The matrix material holds the reinforcement together and transfers loads between the reinforcement elements. Common matrix materials include polymers (e.g., epoxy, polyester), metals, ceramics, and carbon.
  1. Reinforcement: The reinforcement material provides strength and stiffness to the composite. Common reinforcement types include fibers (e.g., carbon, glass, aramid) and particles (e.g., silica, alumina).

Manufacturing Routes:

Composites can be manufactured through various routes, including:

  1. Hand Lay-up: Involves manually placing reinforcement layers in a mold and applying resin to create the composite.
  2. Filament Winding: Involves winding continuous fibers around a rotating mandrel to create cylindrical composite structures.
  3. Resin Transfer Molding (RTM): Involves injecting resin into a closed mold containing dry fibers or preforms.
  4. Pultrusion: Involves pulling continuous fibers through a resin bath and then through a heated die to cure the resin and create a continuous composite profile.


Composites find applications in various industries due to their excellent strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and design flexibility. Some common applications include:

  1. Aerospace: Composite materials are used in aircraft components such as wings, fuselage sections, and interior panels to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency.
  2. Automotive: Composites are used in car bodies, chassis components, and interior parts to improve fuel efficiency, safety, and performance.
  3. Construction: Composites find applications in infrastructure, bridges, pipelines, and building materials due to their durability, corrosion resistance, and design versatility.

Failure Theories:

Failure in composite materials can occur through various mechanisms. Some commonly used failure theories include:

  1. Tsai-Wu Failure Criterion: Evaluates the failure of a composite laminate based on the stress and strain components, considering both tensile and compressive failure modes.
  2. Hashin Failure Criteria: Provides a set of failure criteria for different failure modes, including fiber fracture, matrix cracking, and delamination.
  3. Puck Failure Criterion: Determines the failure of a composite under in-plane shear loading conditions.
  4. Maximum Stress Theory: Predicts failure by comparing the maximum stress in the composite to its ultimate strength.

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Assignment Activity 2: Design a new composite product considering its functional requirements, intellectual property, appropriate material systems, suitable manufacturing methods and processes

Designing a new composite product requires careful consideration of several factors. Here are the key aspects to address:

  • Functional Requirements: Identify the specific functional requirements of the product, such as strength, stiffness, durability, thermal properties, or electrical conductivity. Understand the intended application and performance expectations to guide the design process.
  • Intellectual Property: Conduct a thorough review of existing patents, trademarks, and copyrights to ensure that your design does not infringe on any intellectual property rights. Consider consulting with legal professionals specialized in intellectual property to navigate this aspect effectively.
  • Appropriate Material Systems: Select suitable material systems based on the desired performance characteristics and manufacturing requirements. Consider factors such as the matrix type, reinforcement type and orientation, and the properties of individual constituents. Evaluate the compatibility of different materials and their potential impact on the final product’s performance.
  • Suitable Manufacturing Methods and Processes: Choose manufacturing methods and processes that align with the design requirements and production volume. Consider factors such as cost, scalability, complexity, and cycle time. Evaluate options like hand lay-up, compression molding, resin infusion, automated fiber placement, or filament winding based on your product’s specific needs.

Assignment Activity 3: Apply the principles of conceptual design, initial sizing, and preliminary structural analysis including micromechanics, the analysis of laminates and failure theories

In the process of designing a composite structure, several principles and analyses need to be applied:

  • Conceptual Design: Begin with a conceptual design phase where the general shape, form, and layout of the structure are established. Consider factors such as load requirements, functional constraints, and aesthetic considerations. Generate multiple design concepts and evaluate their feasibility before selecting the most promising one.
  • Initial Sizing: Determine the approximate dimensions and proportions of the composite structure based on the expected loads and performance requirements. This step involves selecting preliminary thicknesses, fiber orientations, and stacking sequences for laminate structures. Consider relevant design guidelines and standards during the sizing process.
  • Preliminary Structural Analysis: Perform preliminary structural analyses to evaluate the behavior of the composite structure under anticipated loads and boundary conditions. Apply micromechanics to predict the effective mechanical properties of the composite based on the properties of individual constituents. Use laminate analysis methods (e.g., classical laminate theory) to calculate laminate stiffness, strength, and failure characteristics.

Consider failure theories (as mentioned in Assignment Activity 1) to assess the potential failure modes and margins of safety. This analysis provides valuable insights into the structural performance and allows for optimization and refinement of the design.

Assignment Activity 4: Build a digital mock-up model using a computer-aided design tool

To build a digital mock-up model of a composite product, follow these steps using a computer-aided design (CAD) tool:

  1. Import or create a 3D geometry: Import an existing CAD model or create a new one within the CAD software. Ensure the geometry accurately represents the shape and features of the composite product.
  2. Define material properties: Assign appropriate material properties to the different components of the model, including the matrix and reinforcement. Specify material parameters such as modulus of elasticity, Poisson’s ratio, and failure criteria.
  3. Apply boundary conditions: Define the boundary conditions for the model, including constraints and loads. Consider how the composite product will be used and subjected to external forces or environmental conditions.
  4. Create composite layers: Build up the composite layers within the CAD tool by assigning the appropriate thickness, fiber orientations, and stacking sequences. Ensure that the layers are correctly aligned and oriented according to the design specifications.
  5. Perform finite element analysis (FEA): Use the CAD software’s FEA capabilities to simulate the structural behavior of the composite product. Apply the defined boundary conditions and analyze the response of the model under various load cases.
  6. Evaluate results and make design adjustments: Review the FEA results to assess the performance and integrity of the composite product. Identify any areas of concern, such as high stress concentrations or deformation. Make design adjustments as needed to improve the structural performance.
  7. Iterate and refine the model: Repeat the analysis and adjustment process iteratively, refining the digital mock-up model based on the results and design requirements. Strive to optimize the design for desired performance, reliability, and manufacturability.
  8. Document and communicate the digital mock-up: Document the digital mock-up model, including the design specifications, material properties, and analysis results. Communicate the model effectively to stakeholders, such as clients, colleagues, or manufacturing teams, to ensure a shared understanding of the design intent.

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Assignment Activity 5: Analyze and model the basic manufacturing processes and optimize process parameters through numerical simulations and devise defect mitigation strategy

To analyze and model basic manufacturing processes, optimize process parameters, and devise defect mitigation strategies for composite products, follow these steps:

  1. Understand the manufacturing process: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the specific manufacturing process used for composites, such as resin infusion, compression molding, or filament winding. Familiarize yourself with the process steps, equipment, materials, and variables that influence the final product’s quality.
  2. Identify critical process parameters: Identify the key process parameters that significantly affect the product’s quality and performance. These parameters may include temperature, pressure, curing time, resin viscosity, fiber volume fraction, and tooling conditions.
  3. Conduct numerical simulations: Utilize specialized software or numerical simulation tools to model and simulate the manufacturing process. Input the process parameters, material properties, and geometry into the simulation software. Simulate the process to predict and visualize the flow behavior, resin impregnation, fiber orientation, and curing process.
  4. Optimize process parameters: Analyze the simulation results and identify areas of improvement. Explore different scenarios by varying the process parameters within a defined range. Optimize the parameters to achieve desired outcomes, such as uniform fiber distribution, minimized void content, or reduced manufacturing time and cost.
  5. Devise defect mitigation strategy: Based on the simulation results and process optimization, develop a defect mitigation strategy. Identify potential defects that can occur during manufacturing, such as voids, delamination, or fiber misalignment. Propose strategies to minimize or eliminate these defects, such as adjusting process parameters, modifying tooling, or implementing quality control measures.
  6. Validate through experimentation: Once the process parameters and defect mitigation strategies are determined, validate the findings through physical experimentation. Manufacture test specimens or prototypes using the optimized parameters and assess the quality and performance of the produced composites.
  7. Document and communicate findings: Document the results of the numerical simulations, process optimization, and defect mitigation strategies. Clearly communicate the findings to stakeholders, manufacturing teams, or researchers involved in the project. Provide guidelines and recommendations for implementing the optimized processes and controlling defects during production.

Remember to review and refine the manufacturing processes and strategies as new insights or advancements emerge in the field of composites processing.

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