Advanced Polymers and Composites (APC) Research Group
Our activities include research and development into design, creation and testing of polymers and composite materials, and analysing their effectiveness. We also investigate modelling, 3-D printing and structural integrity of sustainable biocomposites.
Our research informs teaching and knowledge transfer activities in the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering and Faculty of Technology. We contribute to the international research profile of the University of Portsmouth through high-quality publications and participations.
Our mission is to build modern work in advanced materials and manufacturing, through collaborative partnerships with industry and other partners.
Advanced composites application driven areas
- Composite materials (natural fibre composites and biocomposites for light weight applications)
- Conventional composites and nanocomposites
- Polymers/plastics (thermosets and thermoplastics)
- Composite manufacturing (aimed at exploring the link between materials, process and performance)
- Additive manufacturing (Design and rapid prototyping, 3D printing of polymers and composites)
- Lean manufacturing
The APC research group has well-equipped laboratories with facilities for R&D in advanced polymers and composites. The activities we undertake range from short-term consultancy works to medium-to-long-term research and knowledge transfer projects.
The FLOWER Project
We're working with partner organisations in the UK and France on an innovative research project to develop natural fibre composites that are a viable alternative to the non-recyclable fibreglass products widely used in the automotive and marine industries.
Facilities and capabilities
- Nano-testing (indentation, scratching and impact)
- Thermal characterisation (MDSC, DSC, TGA, TMA, DMA, laser flash and hot- wire thermal conductivities)
- Materials/Mechanical testing (tensile, compression and flexural test at low and elevated temperatures, pendulum, falling weight and ballistic test impact and
- Durability testing (thermal, chemical, moisture, UV and hygrothermal degradation test)
- Surface properties test (contact angle, surface tension and surface topography)
- Structural integrity evaluation (electronic shearography, C-scan, ARAMIS and CT-scan)
- Manufacturing (vacuum bagging, compression moulding, injection moulding, thermoforming and RTM)
- Finite element analysis of engineering and biomedical systems, materials failure, damage and manufacturing processes
- Machining of materials, such as conventional and non-conventional drillings, waterjet cutting, among others
- Modelling (analytical and numerical) and simulation of artificial hip and knee joints, materials failure, damage and manufacturing processes
- Fatigue/fracture, creep and oxidation at elevated temperature