Research course

Graphene/Nanoparticles Reinforced Multi-Scale Carbon/Glass Composites for Advanced Aerospace and Automobile Engineering

Cranfield University · Manufacturing
MSc by research

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Entry requirements

Applicants should have an equivalent of first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline, science (chemistry/physics) or engineering. The ideal candidate should have some understanding in the area of materials science, mechanical engineering (or related field), manufacturing, chemistry or physics background. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders, with an interest for industrial research.

Months of entry


Course content

We are pleased to announce MSc by research project in “Graphene/Nanoparticles Reinforced Multi-scale Carbon/Glass Composites for Advanced Aerospace and Automobile Engineering”. This project aims to develop high performance carbon/glass fibre composites to improve the fatigue and crack resistance of composites used in aerospace and automotive structures by nanoscale and using nanomaterials (graphene, carbon nanotubes etc.) reinforcement.

Fibre reinforced composites have excellent in plane strength and stiffness and are being used in increasing quantities in aerospace, sports, automotive and wind turbine blade industries. However fibre reinforced composites are weak in their through thickness direction. This weakness can result in parts failing by delamination in service, either from external loads or impact events. The presence of a delamination can seriously reduce the strength and stiffness of a laminate especially under compressive buckling loads, potentially leading to catastrophic failure.

We have developed new generation of multi-scale composites using graphene/nanoparticles reinforcement in glass/carbon epoxy composites (Figure 1) to increase the delamination resistance. Graphene/nanoparticles, due to its nano dimension, can reinforce the polymer matrix at nanoscale level (see figure 1) where the carbon/glass fibres cannot reach. Our research shows that nanoscale reinforcement of polymer matrix used in glass/carbon fibre composites significantly reduces crack propagation in composites, reduce failure due to delamination and significantly improves fracture toughness [Williams et al, Journal of Materials Science 48, 3, 1005-1013, 2013]. In addition it can also increases the electrical conductivity of composites.

As a part of this MSc by Research project we will develop joint UK projects with aerospace, automotive, marine, and wind turbine manufacturers to implement use of multi-scale composites which can offer the following advantages for the composites products used in their industries.

  • Improved fracture toughness and impact resistance of composites
  • Improved fatigue life of composites
  • Improved compressive and shear strength/modulus of composites
  • Increased vibrational damping of composites
  • Improvement in electrical conductivity for electrostatic dissipation and EMI shielding
  • Improvement in shear modulus of adhesive joints used for composites joining due to graphene addition
  • Improvement in heat distortion temperature due to addition of graphene for auto and adhesive application
  • Improvement in flexural modulus of components used for auto and aerospace applications

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc by research
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Dr. Sameer S Rahatekar