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Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:


Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

This module covers composite and metallic materials for aerospace applications, associated material properties and the sustainment of material structural integrity over the lifetime of an aircraft through damage detection, assessment and repair. The emphasis on composite materials reflects the increasing usage of these materials in modern aircraft.


Chronological development of metallic and composite materials for aircraft structural applications; Microstructure and processing of aerospace metals and composites (e.g. metal forming, autoclave and resin infusion processing of composite materials, etc); Structural properties (e.g. strength, stiffness, toughness, impact resistance) of aerospace metals and composites under relevant environmental conditions (e.g. hot/wet) and associated test methods (e.g. CAI - Compression After Impact); Mechanical and environmental damage inducing phenomena including fatigue, impact (in-service and accidental), manufacturing defects, corrosion, erosion, lightening-strike, etc; Damage types (e.g. damage in metals, BVID - Barely Visible Impact Damage in composites, etc) and damage mechanisms (e.g. metallic material crack initiation and propagation, delamination in composite materials, etc); Damage assessment using NDI (Non-Destructive-Inspection) techniques including ultrasound and shearography; Repair strategies and repair techniques for the restoration of mechanical properties particular to aerospace composite materials including material removal, surface preparation and repair fabrication; Structural health monitoring and advanced instrumentation; Relevance of aerospace composite materials, associated technologies and repair techniques to other sectors e.g. wind energy.

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

Upon successful completion of this module students will be able to: - Outline a range of metallic and composite materials utilised in aerospace applications; - Demonstrate an understanding of the anisotropic nature of composite materials, associated microstructure, mechanical properties and processing techniques; Appraise the various types of damage (and causes) particularly those encountered in aircraft composite materials; - Demonstrate an understanding of repair strategies for the restoration of structural properties; - Describe repair procedures and techniques in aircraft structures; - Outline structural health monitoring techniques; - Describe what role research and development of advanced aerospace materials is likely to play in the next generation of aircraft.

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

Upon successful completion of this module students will be able to: - Appreciate the importance of safety requirements when assessing damage and repairing aircraft materials and the requirement for thorough testing and certification; - Recognise and differentiate the mechanical response and damage mechanisms of aerospace composite materials and homogeneous isotropic metallic counterparts; - Co-operate with other members of small groups during laboratory assignments.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)

Upon successful completion of this module students will be able to: - Non-destructively evaluate damage in composite components.

How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

The module will be delivered online (distance learning) through the University's learning management system. Online lectures integrating active-learning tutorials ('lectorials'), with an emphasis on interactive engagement with students, will be used. The online lectures will include notes on power point slides, demonstrated examples and presentation of case studies from the aircraft maintenance and airworthiness management sector. While the programme will be predominantly delivered by distance learning, there may also be opportunities for industry visits.

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

Mouritz, A.P. (2012) Introduction to Aerospace Materials , Woodhead Publishing
Irving, P.E. and Soutis, C. (2015) Polymer Composites in the Aerospace Industry , Woodhead Publishing

Other Relevant Texts:

Campbell F.C. (2010) Structural Composite Materials , ASM International
Raj, B., Jayakumar, T. and Thavasimuthu, M. (2002) Practical Non-Destructive Testing , Woodhead Publishing
Fahr, A. (2014) Aeronautical Applications of Non-Destructive Testing , DEStech Publications
Federal Aviation Administration (2012) Aviation Maintenance Technician Handbook - Airframe, volume 1 (FAA-H-8083-31) , Federal Aviation Administration
Duong, C.N. and Wang, C.H. (2007) Composite Repair Theory and Design , Elsevier
Kroes, M., Watkins, W.A., Delp, F. and Sterkenburg, R. (2013) Aircraft Maintenance and Repair , McGraw Hill

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

Semester - Year to be First Offered:

Module Leader: