Composite Materials Laboratory

WHO ARE WE & WHAT DO WE DO

The Composites Research Laboratory initiates research on all aspects of the manufacture and processing of composite materials. The unit also makes a significant contribution to the research work carried out at the Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit    ( BISRU ).and the Robotics research unit. The work at the composites research laboratory concentrates on taking commercially available raw materials and composite materials and processing them using currently known manufacturing processes to generate specialised test specimens for use in non-destructive testing research and blast impact evaluation. The laboratory also assists in analysing the test results of the various blast impact studies being undertaken at BISRU. Research within the laboratory also focuses on optimising composite materials processing and this includes using vacuum and fusion manufacture to make composite components. A further aspect of the research concentrates on the selection and application of appropriate fibre and resin systems and the use of software to optimise resin flow within component moulds.

 

CURRENT RESEARCH FOCUS

Blast resistance of composite sandwich panels using a rigid foam core with glass fibre epoxy skins

Understanding the manufacture of fibre-metal laminates with woven reinforcement and thermosetting resins

 

KEY RESEARCH COLLABORATORS

Durban University of Technology ( Reinforced Plastics Technology Station )

Advanced Materials Technology Strategy – joint research with University of Stellenbosch, CSIR, Central University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology

and Durban University of Technology

Blast Impact Survivability Research Unit – University of Cape Town

 

SPONSORS

University of Cape Town Research Committee

 

SPECIALISED FACILITIES

Dedicated composites processing facility with ovens and vacuum forming facilities

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