19 JULY 2016 | SEMINAR

Insights into the novel use of laminated composite materials as an enabling technology for engineering applications

Christopher B. York

This presentation will provide insights into current research activities on the tailoring of thermo-mechanically coupled laminated composites. The research has led to the discovery of 24 unique classes of thermo-mechanically mechanically coupled laminate; only 10 classes were previously thought to exist. Critical assessments of the benefits, or otherwise, to a wide range of functional and/or structural applications have begun to reveal interesting phenomena which provide opportunities for use of these materials as enabling technologies in engineering design. One new laminate class that will be discussed in the presentation possesses extension-shearing coupling, with no other coupling present. Such laminates can be configured to produce bending-twisting coupling in wing-box type structures, which can be exploited to great effect in the design for passive load alleviation in wind-turbine blades, passive-adaptive behaviour in static wings or aero-elastic compliance in helicopter rotor-blades.

Similar behaviour can also be achieved by using less sophisticated designs, such as applying off-axis material alignment, but additional forms of coupling behaviour arise in these cases, leading to detrimental effects on both stiffness and strength. Other exotic forms of mechanical coupling and their engineering applications will also be discussed. These have been demonstrated experimentally, and contrary to long held misconceptions, a surprisingly broad range of these designs can be manufactured without the undesirable warping distortions that generally result from the high temperature curing process. Such laminate designs are described as Hygro-Thermally Curvature-Stable (HTCS) or warp-free and are likely to become an import enabling technology in future ‘smart’ structures.

Personal bio of Christopher B. York

I gained a first in Civil Engineering in 1990 and completed a PhD in Structural Engineering in 1993; both at the University of Wales, Cardiff. Following a two-year period of post-doctoral research at the University of Wales, Cardiff, investigating structural optimisation methodologies for application to lightweight air-vehicle design, I joined the University of Edinburgh in 1995 as a Lecturer in Civil Engineering. My continuing research interests in lightweight structures attracted me to Glasgow in 2001: the only institution in Scotland delivering an Aeronautical Engineering degree program, thus offering an opportunity to engage in research led teaching.

An industrial secondment with BAE Systems in 2004, involving structural optimisation studies for the future Joint Strike Fighter, provided the catalyst that gave rise to my current research interests in the thermo-mechanical behaviour of coupled laminated composite materials. I am currently working in Brazil under a Newton Fund Scholarship, investigating advanced tailoring strategies for laminated composite materials.


Date: 19 JULY 2016
Time: 2 pm

Prédio de Eng. Mecânica e Naval, sala MZ-02
Av. Professor Mello Moraes, 2231
Escola Politécnica, University of São Paulo
05508-030, São Paulo – SP, Brazil

E-mail: communication.rcgi@usp.br
Phone: +55 11 3091-5646