composite materials


i'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for how to learn about using composite materials. i've just been astounded at some of the stuff modern ceramics and composite materials can do, and would one day like to be able to use these materials personally. unfortunately, i know of no place to learn though. where can i go to learn how to make use of these advanced materials?

my college (university of maryland) has a wonderful materials engineering program, but it doesnt teach you how to user materials, only teaches you what they do. i'm only reasonably interested in material properties, i'm far more interested in how to make things with the materials.

thanks, Myren

Reply to
myren, lord
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If you're in a ME program you're expected to be able to figure out what to do with a material once you know its properties -- that way when you find a new material instead of waiting for someone to tell you what to do with it you'll know.

Actually learning the practical stuff comes from actually working. Try to get an internship someplace they use this stuff, or see if any of your profs are building stuff using the materials (like solar cars, UAV's, high-tech toilets, whatever). Ask around -- there may be a prof who's consulting for industry and whose activities won't show up on campus, or who's running a lab that's not too visible. If you're lucky your queries will get you on to an interesting project.

Reply to
Tim Wescott

There are no good books that go beyond the basics. Working with composites is only learned by doing it. Fiber orientation and resin/fiber ratios are the keys to a really strong composite. Set up a basic vacuum bagging system and start with glass/epoxy. Make some flat parts and then try rounds and more complex shapes to see how the fibers move under the vacuum bag. Then you can move to the expensive stuff like Kevlar and carbon fiber.

Reply to
Glenn Ashmore

Visit because they sell lots of small aircraft parts, supplies, and kit builder hardware, as well as composites, wood, and metal. They sell videos about how to work with various composite materials. Their catalog alone has lots of good stuff, and I highly recommend you getting it as well as the videos.

Reply to
carl mciver

--OBTW they were looking for a composites expert at Scaled Composites last month. You might give 'em a call and find out how they got

*their* expertise...
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