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Processing of Composites MECH 5970


Christopher Hansen
Office: 223A Perry Hall
Office phone: 978-934-2932 (x4-2932 from campus phone)



MECH 5970 Processing of Composites

Department of Mechanical Engineering, UMass Lowell 


Primary textbook: Principles of the Manufacturing of Composite Materials,
Suong V. Hoa. DEStech Publications. ISBN: 978-1932078268
eBook available free through the UML Library. Click the title for access.
Note: If you wish to order a hardcopy of the text, you can receive a discount by ordering direct through DesTech Publications. 

Secondary textbook: Fundamentals of Composites Manufacturing: Materials, Methods, and Applications by Brent A. Strong, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), 2008. 

Course Objectives

The goal of this course is to provide an overview of the both the scientific and practical aspects of processing composites. An emphasis will be placed on polymer matrix continuous fiber- reinforced composites, though short fiber-reinforced composites and metal- and ceramic-matrix composites will be discussed briefly. Nanocomposites will not be discussed in depth, as this is covered in-depth in MECH 5700 “Polymer Nanocomposites.” Overarching topics to be covered include:

  • An understanding of the end goal of successful composites processing
  • ​Intuitive understanding of polymer matrix chemorheology
  • Scientific and practical familiarity with hand lay-up, thermoforming, compression molding, and braiding techniques. Analysis of forming, permeability, and consolidation of composite parts.
  • Grasp of composite design methodology as it relates to factors of strength, assembly, cost, and environmental impact.