How to Design Stronger and Lighter Products - A Term Project for a Composite Materials Course

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2010 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Composite materials are widely used due to their advantages such as high strength to weight ratios, high corrosion resistance, high fatigue life in cyclic loading, and greater feasibility for styling and design. This paper presents the development of a new course project focusing on the novel use of composite materials to promote enhanced performance and safety while reducing the mass and cost of various products. In order to stimulate the students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills, the students are required to study the product specifications, analyze the design requirements, perform engineering analysis, and propose several design approaches. The goal of the project is to achieve the maximum mass reduction by the maximum usage of composite materials. With the aid of advanced simulation software, the students are able to optimize their design.

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© 2010 American Society for Engineering Education