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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/V009451/2
Title Next generation of high-performance impact resistant composites with visibility of damage
Status Started
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Wind Energy) 5%;
Not Energy Related 95%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr M Fotouhi

Civil Engineering Faculty
Delft University of Technology
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 21 May 2021
End Date 28 February 2024
Duration 33 months
Total Grant Value £46,100
Industrial Sectors Aerospace; Defence and Marine; Energy; Sports and Recreation; Transport Systems and Vehicles
Region London
Programme NC : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr M Fotouhi , Civil Engineering Faculty, Delft University of Technology (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Composites Centre (0.000%)
Project Contact , Hexcel Composites Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , TWI Technology Centre (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Manufacturing Inst Scotland (0.000%)
Project Contact , Compoestructuras SAS (0.000%)
Project Contact , Crack Map LTD (0.000%)
Project Contact , Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland (0.000%)
Project Contact , Randon Technology Center (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Composites are truly the materials of the future, due to their excellent properties such as high strength to weight ratio, and their use is rising exponentially, continuing to replace or augment traditional materials in different sectors such as aerospace, automotive, wind turbine blades, civil engineering infrastructure and sporting goods. A good example is the construction of large aircraft such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 which are 53% and 50% composite by weight, respectively. However, while the fibre dominant properties guarantee excellent in-plane load-bearing characteristics, traditional composite materials exhibit weak resistance to out-of-plane loads, making them susceptible to barely visible impact damage (BVID) under impact loads that can happen during manufacturing or in service. BVID can drastically reduce the strength, without any visible warning. Structures that look fine can fail suddenly at loads much lower than expected. This weak impact resistance together with the complexity of the failure mechanisms typical of composite systems led in the past decade to complex and expensive maintenance/inspection procedures. Therefore, a significantly greater safety margin than other materials leads to conservative design in composite structures. Based on these premises, the need is clear for a comprehensive solution that matches the requirements of lightweight structures with the need for high impact resistance and ease of inspection. This project is aimed at the design and development of next generation of high-performance impact resistant composites with visibility of damage and improved compression after impact strength. These exceptional properties are caused with ability to visualise and control failure modes to happen in an optimised way. Energy would be absorbed by gradual and sacrificial damage, strength would be maintained, and there would be visible evidence of damage. This would eliminate the need for very low design strains to cater for BVID, providing a step change in composite performance, leading to greater reliability and safety, together with reduced design and maintenance requirements, and longer service life. This is an exciting opportunity to develop this novel proposed technology with my extensive industrial partners, a potentially transformative prospect for the UK composites research and industry
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 21/12/22