Advanced Composite Structures


Advanced composites are critical, and in many instances enabling, materials for a large and increasing number of aerospace applications. Historically considered primarily structural and thermal protection materials, they also have great potential in virtually all subsystems, including propulsion, mechanisms, electronics, power, and thermal management. Physical properties are increasingly important. For example, composites with low densities, low CTEs and thermal conductivities higher than copper are now in production. Materials of interest include not only polymer matrix composites (PMCs), currently the most widely used class of structural materials, and carbon-carbon composites (CCCs), which are well established for thermal protection, but also ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), metal matrix composites (MMCs) and other types of carbon matrix composites (CAMCs). In this short course we consider key aspects of the four key classes of composites, including properties, manufacturing methods, design, analysis, lessons learned and applications. We also consider future directions, including nanocomposites.

Key Topics:

  • Introduction to composite materials
  • Basic characteristics of composite materials
  • Test methods for composite properties
  • Properties of Polymer matrix composites (PMCs), Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs), Carbon Matrix Composites (CAMCs) and Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs); Thermal Management Materials
  • Design and analysis
  • Lessons learned and future
  • Click below for full outline

Who Should Attend:

This course is intended for engineers, scientists and managers involved in design and fabrication of aerospace structures and other subsystems, including design engineers, analysts, materials engineers and scientists, manufacturing engineers, quality assurance engineers, engineering managers, R&D engineers and scientists, and product development engineers.

General Course Information:

  • Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course
  • Course Level: Fundamentals/Intermediate
  • Course Length: 2 days
  • AIAA CEU's available: Yes


Course Outline:

I. Introduction to composite materials
II. Basic characteristics of composite materials
III. Key reinforcements
IV. Overview of composite properties
V. Test methods for material properties
VI. Polymer matrix composites
VII. Metal matrix composites
VIII. Carbon matrix composites
IX. Ceramic matrix composites
X. Thermal materials
XI. Design and analysis of composite structures
XII. Design and analysis of composite joints
XIII. Nondestructive evaluation
XIV. Lessons learned
XV. Future developments



Dr. Carl Zweben has over 40 years’ composites experience.  Now an independent consultant, he was Division Fellow at GE Astro Space, where he was the first to win the Engineer-of-the-Year and One-In-A-Thousand awards.  He is an AIAA Associate Fellow, an ASME Life Fellow, and was an AIAA and ASME Distinguished Lecturer.



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