Composite Component Testing

Design and development of composite material structures is often more challenging than using isotropic materials and conventional processing and fabrication techniques. Many of the composite materials and assembly methods (adhesives or mechanical) are relatively unproven. In order to move effectively from theoretical design to the real marketplace, it is important to define working material properties accurately for use in the analysis processes and to characterize assembly capability.

Confidence in the development of a new composite product can be increased dramatically by supplementing analysis with an appropriate level of testing. The more radical the material or design solution, the earlier the analysis assumptions, materials and sub-components should be verified before significant investment is made.

Engenuity advocates the use of the Building Block Approach to validate product design and performance specifications throughout the design process. Existing areas of materials (or composite product) experience can be fast tracked through this process, focusing on the uncertainties at an early stage.

The Building Block approach has been practiced by advanced composite materials experts to meet demanding safety and performance specifications. This approach has been widely accepted by the aerospace composites industry, and is utilized by Engenuity to programmes across a broad spectrum of industries, including development of automotive, aerospace, defence, motorsport and sports equipment.

Whilst significant emphasis is placed on the need for testing in impact scenarios, the building block approach and the need to reduce uncertainties is still beneficial to static or fatigue loading scenarios.

Carbon Fibre Crush testing using Engenuity's Mk2 Crush Test Fixture at NPL, Teddington UK.

Birdstrike Red Bull air race