What is the important information for designers in wide range of industries?


What do people in composite industries think, when they try to let designers in other industries use composite materials more?


The designers here mean; the persons who are employed in the company which will sell products for final customers.


I was a design engineer of aero turbo fan engine, so my opinion would be one of them.


I hope today’s column will give you some meaningful information for you.


Concerning of high weight think regarding “Material / Process / Prototype”

Most of exhibitions including JEC, some projects in countries including Japan, Europe and other areas where I am involved by customers’ requests, many targets are;

Material / Process / Prototype

These items should be important for designers too but the truth of high weight regarding material/process/prototype is very strange for me.


Because these items are not easy to understand if we are not familiar with composite materials.


The important points for designers except composite industries are;


“What points do people pay attention when they apply composite materials to their products?”



But most of Japanese and many of European companies do hesitate to discuss about the information like; what the highest priority for composite material application is.


In my opinion, the composite industries could not grow up more if such kind of very basic knowledge.


Information is basically closed; it might be one of the cultures in the composite industries.


Misunderstanding even in the long history

I am supporting several companies which have more than 20 years history in composite industries. Even such matured companies do not seem to have an effort to let people understanding their own products.


They are not willing to make them secret, but have not had the chance to review their own products from outside view points.


There are cases that they don’t have enough engineering data to explain their customers; what they are producing in composite industries. This condition should lead to the status that; the most important knowledge regarding composite materials is “unclear”.


If I am a designer in other industries, I would not apply composite materials for new products because of not-sufficient information.


Here I would like to discuss what kind of information will be very meaningful for designers in other industries when they judge the material could be applied or not.


Understanding regarding “Anisotropic” should be the starting point

It should be clear that composite materials like CFRP/ GFRP have feature of light weight and high strength. But more important point is;

Composite material is “Anisotropic” one

Someone are talking that random composite materials are isotropic, but I can not agree this point, based on my actual experience of using random composite materials in production, applied to turbo fan engine parts.


The misunderstanding should have come from the consideration; with what material compared is. Most of composite materials including SMC, woven or etc. are anisotropic, compared with conventional materials like metals or neat resins.


Of course, sheet metals show anisotropic feature, but it is less than composites.

The anisotropic character shall be known, before mentioning like Material / Process / Prototype.


How to let them understand anisotropic feature of composite

Basic material properties via flat panels should be best.


There are many cases that T11/E11 and bending data are shown in the data sheet for composite material introduction and communication.

T11/E11 is good for discussion but bending is no meaning from design view point. It is mentioned in ISO bending test standard clearly.


Material properties under mixed load mode is strange. Anisotropic character shall be acquired and discussed under simple load mode.


If I am the design engineer who would like to judge composite material application possibility, the data below should be necessary in addition to T11/E11.

  • T22/E11
  • C11/Ec11
  • T33/E33
  • S13/G13


The data above include important properties in some specific directions of in-plain and interlaminar direction. Considering all the data above, designers can understand the meaning of “Anisotropic” feature by quantitative view point.



Trial to widen composite materials

The anisotropic feature should be understood not only by material suppliers, but also wide area of companies. Anisotropic feature has very big impact on later procedure like CAE, material cutting, lay-up (preform), molding, machining and inspection etc.

That means all of companies should understand and could explain regarding anisotropic feature of composite materials.


If many of people in composite or related industries all over the world notice the point above, composite material should be applied more wide range of industries.



Now is the good timing to doublecheck whether our dispatch-information is reasonable to let other people understand anisotropic feature of composites, and then these knowledges could support them to apply composites.


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