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For the safety of our community, UWPCE programs will be taught remotely for the 2020-21 academic year.

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Aircraft Composite Materials


Course Details

About this Course

This is the first course in the Certificate program. Regardless of an individual's specific discipline, engineers must have a firm understanding of the properties and limitations of the materials they are using to meet the performance goals of the designed hardware. In other words, "Materials" is the backbone in the successful design and development of a product.

Topics covered in this course include: fundamentals of fiber-reinforced composites with focus on polymer matrix composite (PMC) materials; differences between PMCs and other structural materials; guidelines for material selection; structure, processing, and properties of basic constituents (fibers and matrices) involved in the make-up of PMC systems; toughening approaches for thermoset resins; importance and role of fiber/matrix interface; surface energy considerations and use of coupling agents and coatings to promote bonding across the fiber/matrix interface to facilitate better load transfer from matrix to fibers; micro-mechanical behavior of composites including load transfer mechanism from matrix to fibers; prepregs and sheet molding compound product forms used in the fabrication of PMCs; environmental effects considerations in the use of PMC structural hardware; and quality control of basic constituent materials.

What You'll Learn

  • Differences between polymer matrix composites and metallic materials
  • Structure, processing and properties of fibers and matrix materials and toughening approaches for thermoset resins
  • Interfaces, use of coupling agents, and surface energy considerations in adhesive bonding
  • Micro-mechanical behavior of composites and load transfer mechanismsFillers and other additives
  • Environmental effects and quality control of constituent materials

Get Hands-On Experience

You'll physically view and examine various fiber types, fiber weave forms, prepregs and other paraphernalia associated with composite processing. 


Program Overview

To earn this certificate, you must complete the first two courses and either the third or fourth course.


You may be able to take individual courses without enrolling in the certificate program; check the course pages for details.

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