Material Development & Characterization

Current Projects:

  • New Generation of Fibre Metal Laminates with Superior Interlock Mechanical Bonding Characteristics

Increasing demands in aerospace industries for high-performance and lightweight structures with cost-effective manufacturability have stimulated a strong trend towards the development of refined models of hybrid materials such as Fibre-metal laminates (FMLs).

Nano-Hooks for Mechanical Bonding in Fibre Metal Laminates

Nano-Hooks for Mechanical Bonding in Fibre Metal Laminates

FMLs are hybrid composite materials built up from interlacing layers of monolithic metallic sheets and pre-impregnated (prepreg) fibre layers. FMLs combine metal alloy features (machinability, formability and impact tolerance) with composite materials’ features (low density, good fatigue resistance and manufacturing flexibility). A FML known as GLARE (Glass Laminate Aluminium Reinforced Epoxy) has become the lightweight material of choice in numerous aerospace applications. There are mainly two mechanisms of failure in FMLs, namely: 1) Constituent failure: the metal layers show yielding under high loadings while reinforced adhesive layers can suffer from epoxy matrix cracking, fibre breakage or de-bonding between the fibre and the epoxy matrix; and 2) Consistency failure: delamination between the sheet metal and the reinforced adhesive layer.

Currently we are developing a modified version of FMLs with superior interlock bonding characteristics tailored for aerospace applications. As the objective in aerospace industry is to design for damage tolerance, it is ultimately necessary to show that the modified GLARE FML will satisfy the damage tolerance certification requirements. Here, all material damage scenarios and their interactions have to be considered under severe environmental operating conditions. Comprehensive material optimization as well as thermo-elastic-plastic characterization under quasi-static and cyclic fatigue/impact loadings are being conducted.

Several openings are available in this project, please check the Opportunities section.