The Composites Group at The University of Edinburgh was founded in 2015, and has 7 academic and ca. 30 research staff & students (May 2021). Its focus is primarily on fibre reinforced polymer composite materials. Fibres studied include carbon, glass, basalt and natural fibres. Resins studied include both thermosets (e.g. epoxies, vinyl/poly esters) and thermoplastics (e.g. PEEK, PEK, Nylon-6).
Main Research Interests
- Powder epoxy resins for thick section composite processing (e.g. wind blade root sections, shipping hulls).
- Reaction Injection Moulding of PA6 (Nylon) Glass/Carbon Reinforced Composites.
- Automated Carbon Tape Production Line producing powder-epoxy impregnated towpreg for Automated Tape Placement
- Fibre-Metal Laminates for improved ductility and toughness.
- Design and Testing of Large Composite Structures (e.g. Powderblade and Fastblade projects).
- Biomimetic Composites.
- Numerical Stress Modelling (Abaqus & Python)
Composites Materials Manufacturing and Testing Laboratories
The group has a total laboratory space of 210 square metres, with separate Composites Processing and Composites Testing facilities.
Composites Processing Equipment:
• Heated vacuum tooling and accessories
• Fume hoods and tool preparation areas
• Thermoplastic composites press system
• Reaction moulding system, mixing and dosing system for liquid thermosets and thermoplastics
• Trimming and specimen extraction facilities
Composites Testing Equipment:
• 250kN Zwick static test machine with hydraulic grips
• 100kN and 250kN servo-hydraulic test machines
• Humidity conditioning chamber
• Fluid immersion baths for specimen conditioning
• End-tab bonding press
• Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis (DMTA)
• Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
• Optical microscopes and specimen preparation facilities
• Scanning Electron Microscopy