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Last modified: 25 Mar 2016 11:38

Course Overview

Advanced materials underpin many industry sectors and are viewed as one of the key enabling technologies that can help address environmental, economic and social challenges the society is facing. Lightweight materials such as composites applied to vehicles, structures and devices can help reduce energy consumption and emissions, and reduced energy efficiency. The aim of this course is introduce students to the mechanical behaviour of composite materials and the design of structures made of composites.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Maria Kashtalyan

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course Aims

To introduce students to the mechanical behaviour of composites materials and the design of structures made of composites.

Main Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students should:

A) have knowledge and understanding of:

• The basic concepts, characteristics and advantages of composite materials
• Physical and mathematical models that describe mechanical behaviour of fibre-reinforced composites
• How the properties of a unidirectional fibre-reinforced composites and a multidirectional composite laminate are derived from the properties of constituents
• How the response of fibre-reinforced composite materials to applied loading depends on the fibre orientation
• How composites fail

B) have gained intellectual skills so that they are able to:

• Analyse composite materials on different scales
• Use stress-strain relationships for unidirectional lamina and multidirectional laminate
• Determine stiffness properties of a unidirectional lamina and multidirectional laminate
• Apply appropriate failure criteria to composites
• Understand the basic principles of composite materials design

C) have gained practical skills so that they are able to:

• Solve engineering problems of some complexity which involve unidirectional composites and composite laminates
• Use library and internet resources effectively

Course Content

The course will begin with a comprehensive review of basic concepts and characteristics of modern composite materials, their manufacturing and applications. The course will then focus on the mechanical behaviour of unidirectional fibre-reinforced composite materials and multidirectional composite laminates, including stress-strain relations, determination of stiffness and strength, and failure mechanisms exhibited under various types of loading. Building on this knowledge, tools and methods for the design of composites structures such as beams, plates, sandwich panels and shells will be considered in the second half of the course.

Further Information & Notes

Available only to candidates following an Engineering degree programme.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 three-hour examination paper (100%).
Resit: 1 three-hour examination paper (100%).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Students can receive feedback on their progress with the course on request during the tutorial sessions.
There will be a scheduled feedback session on the exam paper/performance which will be announced within 4 weeks of the publication of the exam results.

Course Learning Outcomes


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