Manufacturing of multifunctional composites

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Aerospace Engineering


The project is to be carried out within a wider programme of research on 'Multifunctional Composites', aiming to integrate transport phenomena (electrical and thermal) functions at the material level. It is intended not just to add one function at a time but in true multifunctionality to optimize the overall product performance, including cost. There is a fundamental interest in design for multifunctionality, with a view of what the benefits and opportunities are for multifunctional composites - as well as the challenges in delivering a structurally reliable and certifiable multifunctional structure. In this specific project the experimental work will involve manoeuvring of multi-material sets of fibres into 2D and 3D dry fibre structures, using a range of specialist techniques such as microbraiding, automated fibre placement, tufting and weaving. The preforms will be infused with suitable resin and cured for microstructural analysis, coupled to specific tests to examine the level of functionality and structural integrity achieved.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509619/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2064116 Studentship EP/N509619/1 01/11/2017 30/04/2021 Caroline O'Keeffe
Title Hybrid braid 
Description multimaterial hybrid micro braid 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Provides greater multifunctionality for composite materials 
Description Colston Research Society Travel Award
Amount £500 (GBP)
Organisation Colston Research Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2018 
End 10/2018
Title Tuft rig for preforms 
Description 3D printed a rig to enable tufting of awkward samples 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact ongoing 
Description Engineering Outreach day: Rocket Building 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Small group of postgrads and RAs set up a design a rocket competition for school children. Each team designed and fired a rocket which deployed a parachute. The safe return of an egg to the ground was the aim.
Engage with schools and increase interest in engineering degrees.
Make a fun activity and design challenge
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019