Continuous Professional Development

An introduction to composite materials for manufacturing

Course Summary

Composite materials are crucial for making the next generation of products stronger, lighter, and more efficient.

This five-day course taking place at the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC), will teach the theory and practical applications of composite materials and will give you an opportunity to improve your core knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of composites, their composition, and how they’re manufactured. You’ll also reinforce your knowledge as you get hands-on with some materials and make your own parts.  

Armed with a firm understanding and introduction to composite materials, the training also provides an introduction to Prepreg, a unique composite, cured under high temperatures and pressures. We will give you the background on how to optimise your use of Prepreg materials, to achieve the best possible outcomes. 

Finally, we will look at resin infusion, popular for those wanting better quality parts compared to wet lay-up, at a cheaper cost than Prepreg. The knowledge you’ll gain here will help you avoid common mistakes and produce better parts safely. Understanding the essentials of resin infusion will improve your results and help you to explore the wide range of material combinations and performance variables that resin infusion can offer.

Throughout the course, we’ll also show you the techniques used by Technicians and you’ll have the opportunity to practice what you’ve learned, as you produce your own hand-laid parts.  

This course has limited spaces available. Should you be unable to attend, please cancel your booking via Eventbrite to allow us to re-allocate your place.

Failure to cancel and or attend may result in you being removed from any future courses. 

Day 1 – Introduction to composites 

  • am - theory (classroom-based) 
  • pm - practical (workshop) 

Day 2 - Introduction to manual prepreg 

  • am - theory (classroom-based) 
  • pm - practical (workshop) 

Day 3 - Introduction to manual prepreg 

  • am – practical (workshop) 
  • pm – practical & theory (mix of classroom and workshop)   

Day 4 - Introduction to resin infusion  

  • am - theory (classroom) 
  • pm – practical (workshop)  

Day 5 - Introduction to resin infusion  

  • am - practical (workshop) 
  • pm – practical & theory (mix of classroom and workshop) 

Introduction to composite materials 

  • Define the term composite 
  • State two properties of fibre and resin 
  • Compare four resin systems 
  • Compare four fibre reinforcements 
  • Explain the difference between room and elevated temp resin systems 
  • Identify and compare three weave styles 
  • Explain the terms thermoplastic and thermoset 
  • Explain the terms warp and weft 
  • List four benefits of using Composites 
  • Identify three composite manufacturing processes 
  • Produce a carbon & glass epoxy coaster 

Introduction to manual Prepreg 

  • Explain the term Prepreg 
  • Describe how to store and thaw prepreg materials  
  • State three important factors that need to be kept constant in a cleanroom 
  • Explain the three main stages of a prepreg cure cycle and state where that information can be found
  • Laminate a multi-ply component including lap and butt joints 
  • Select and state the purpose of three vacuum bag consumables and create a suitable vacuum bag for prepreg processing
  • Select and use the required PPE when producing a prepreg component
  • Produce part of a prepreg kit ensuring correct orientation of the fibres is achieved as directed by a product drawing
  • State the importance of using an adhesive film when producing sandwich components
  • Explain the term “de-bulk” and state two reasons why this process is used
  • Describe three possible faults when producing prepreg components and state the likely causes of these faults
  • Explain the basic principles of resin infusion

Introduction to resin infusion 

  • Identify and state the use of three items of resin infusion equipment
  • Identify and state the use of three resin infusion consumables
  • Select an appropriate resin infusion strategy
  • Obtain three pieces of information from a TDS
  • Identify two core materials used with resin infusion
  • Explain two potential problems that could occur with the resin infusion process
  • Select and correctly use appropriate PPE and safety equipment
  • Handle, orientate and cut dry fibres 
  • Follow a basic drawing and lay up dry fibres into two different mould tools
  • Identify, select and position a range of vacuum bag and resin infusion consumables 
  • Explain three different resin infusion strategies

This course is aimed towards Technicians or anyone with a basic knowledge of composites interested in learning the basic theory and practical aspects of the manual Prepreg and resin infusion manufacturing process.

The National Composites Centre is a world-class research centre, where companies of any size and across industry sectors, can access cutting-edge technology and specialist engineers, to drive innovation in the design and manufacture of composites.

Register to attend

Dates & Venues

DateMonday 7 - Friday 11 June 2021
LocationLightweight Manufacturing Centre, Inchinnan
Duration09.30 - 16.30 (TBC)

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