Course Length: 5 days

Pre Requisites:

E-4 Composite Laminate Analysis course or equivalent engineering experience with laminate analysis.


This course has been developed specifically for civil, mechanical, structural and aeronautical engineers who are responsible for the design and fabrication of structural composite components. Participants without engineering training in composite laminate analysis are strongly encouraged to take our E-4 Composite Laminate Analysis course as a prerequisite.


The application of composite materials is initially discussed in terms of the constituent component material properties and manufacturing processes based on the design requirements analysis. The tailoring of structural properties through lamination and fiber orientation are discussed in relationship to strength of materials issues and load/deformation response. The design development of the laminate is based on design outcomes and how fiber/resin systems and ply orientation is determined to achieve these design outcomes.

This course will cover the design requirements of several basic structural elements. Detailed stress analysis will be discussed with respect to design detail such as joints, structural stiffening against instability and other structural discontinuities. Other aspects of the course to be covered include environmental and longevity aspects, component quality, and in-service support issues.

Several design case studies are undertaken during the course on classroom computers. These case studies will be used to reinforce the lectures.


Key Lecture Topics:

  • Composite design process
  • Terms and definitions.
  • Structural applications and design requirements.
  • Constituent materials and manufacturing processes.
  • Cost estimation.
  • Ply and laminate material properties.
  • Mechanics of composites (review).
  • Strength of structures (review).
  • Structural elements.
  • Design of composite structures.
  • Composite plates and shells.
  • Composite sandwich structures.
  • Joint design.
  • Stress concentrations.
  • Ply drop-off and build-up.
  • Interlaminar stresses.
  • Environmental effects, durability and damage tolerance.
  • Quality control and assurance measures.
  • Certification.
  • Operational requirements.
  • Defects and damage.
  • Damage analysis.
  • Repair design.
  • Introduction to finite element analysis (FEA).

Workshop Exercises:

  • Determination of design requirements of a basic structural element, stress analysis for the design, and fabrication of the structural element.
  • Destructive testing of the structural element, and comparison to design calculations.
  • Determination of both strength and deformation performance properties via structural analysis.
  • Manufacture the structural elements in teams with small variation of the ply configuration
  • Each design team tests their structure to destruction and compares the test results against design analysis calculations.