Course Length: 5 days

Pre Requisites:

ES-2 Composite Laminate Analysis course or equivalent engineering experience with laminate analysis.


This course has been developed specifically for engineers to provide a thorough understanding of the configuration of composite details and components to meet the design requirements for structural applications. ES-3 discusses the requirements for designing both assembled and co-cured/co-bonded structure using solid laminates, sandwich panels, stiffened structure, panel edge bands, ply drop-offs, and panel field areas. The course also addresses the requirements for assembling composite structures using both bonded and mechanically fastened joints, and utilizes the most robust bonded and bolted joint analysis available. Analysis is performed to evaluate panel buckling and vibration. Additionally, ES-3 provides an understanding of allowables, knockdown, and design values to meet the Damage Tolerance requirements for both primary and secondary structure. This courses performs analysis with both traditional hand calculations and FEA.


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.