Composites in Mechatronics

Mechanical engineers active in machine design are familiar with materials like aluminum and steel, and are confident to use it in their design process. The use of high-grade composites has become the standard in aerospace and high end automotive racing such as formula 1. However, machine designers seem to lag behind in the adoption of composite materials, this can be explained by the fact that the right design guidelines are missing or unaccessible.
Design guidelines for composites are also insufficiently covered in existing mechanical engineering studies. Large companies that need to use composites in their product perform their own testing to compose guidelines for the design with composites. Due to the high investments they need to make for this testing they are mostly unwilling to share their information. Due to these market trends, designing in composites often proves to be a bridge to far for SMEs.
To overcome these problems the RAAK project Composites in Mechatronics (CIM) was started. The project aimed to set up a business network between the mechanical designers in SMEs, composite suppliers and producers, and engineering schools.

Click on the links below to view our work on the Composites in Mechatronics project

Using FEM (Ansys) with composites:

Theoretical calculations on composites (Classical Laminate Theory), in Dutch:

Article in Mikroniek, about the CIM project:

A reader on Composites (from INHolland: Groot Composiet ), Dutch:

Presentation about the CIM project:

Design of some Carbon Fiber Composite demonstrators (Dutch):

Rules of thumb, when designing composites (from INHolland), in Dutch:

Matlab program to calculate laminate stiffness:

Some links to other pages on this wiki, related to composites