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ENG8803 Mechanics and Technology of Fibre Composites

Semester 1, 2012 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying

Contents on this page


Examiner: Allan Manalo
Moderator: Thiru Aravinthan


This course provides students with an opportunity to develop a sound working knowledge of the use of fibre composite materials in structures.


Components and structures manufactured from fibre composites are used increasingly in variety of industries. Composite materials have many desirable properties over conventional metallic materials including high corrosion resistance, high strength to weight ratio, and they can easily be optimized to suit any applied load. This course aims to provide students with knowledge of the governing principles of composites, characterization, performances and other technical aspects of practical importance for practicing engineers and scientists.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of the course, students should be able to:

  1. discuss and appraise the recent advances in composite materials, constituent materials of composites, and composite manufacturing processes;
  2. perform analyses of the mechanical properties of composite materials;
  3. perform analyses on orthotropic lamina and laminates;
  4. discuss failure mechanics and hygrothermal behaviour and evaluate the strength of composites and the fatigue life of composite materials;
  5. discuss and appraise experimental techniques used for composite property evaluation and damage inspections;
  6. identify and design composite materials and structures in various engineering applications.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to composites, materials and fabrication processes 10.00
2. Unidirectional composites 15.00
3. Off-axis properties of unidirectional composites 10.00
4. Short fibre composites 10.00
5. Analysis of composite lamina and laminates 20.00
6. Sandwich laminates 15.00
7. Fatigue, fracture, impact and hygrothermal effects 15.00
8. Miscellaneous topics 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Agrawal Bhagwan, D, Broutman, LJ & Chandrashekhara 2006, Analysis and performance of fiber composites, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons.
  • Barbero, EJ 1999, Introduction to composite materials design, Taylor and Francis, Philadelphia.
  • Hull, D & Clyne, TW 1996, An introduction to composite materials, 2nd edn, Cambridge Univerisity Press.
  • Schwartz, MM 1997, Composite materials. Vol. I, Properties, non-destructive testing and repair, Prentice Hall PTR, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • Schwartz, MM 1997, Composite materials. Vol. II, Processing, fabrication and applications, Prentice Hall PTR, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 55.00
Private Study 70.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 250 25 29 Mar 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 250 25 20 Apr 2012
ASSIGNMENT 3 500 50 08 Jun 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. (ii) Students must participate in discussions posted on the USQStudy Desk.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must email the assignment to USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. The following temporary grade may be awarded: IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up).

  10. In this course students may use either Harvard (AGPS) or the APA referencing systems. Students should consistently use one of these systems in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) and APA styles to be used are defined by the USQ Library's referencing guides. //

Other requirements

  1. Students must have access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.