Theme 1: Composite Materials

Fibre reinforced composite materials are increasingly used in automotive and aerospace applications due to their high stiffness and strength in combination with low specific weights. One of the key challenges is to gain an increased understanding of the failure mechanisms of these materials: Under what conditions will the material fail and what is its residual strength? This information is useful to design even more efficient but safe lightweight structures and to modify the design of the material itself in order to improve its performance. A good example is the development of braided and 3D woven composites, which combine a high stiffness and strength with an increased ductility.

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