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Composite materials offer many advantages over traditional structural materials in terms of tailoring properties to meet specific design requirements. However, knowledge on how to effectively utilize these differences—especially during the early design phase—can produce non-optimal structures that do not live up to the potential of this material class. In this presentation, key differences between designing with laminated polymer composite materials and legacy materials (such as metals and plastics) will be discussed along with specific mathematical assumptions that will make working with composites more palatable and less overwhelming to the non-composite engineer. Key resources, references and property validation steps will also be given along with several basic examples of composite design in action across different application areas.

Presented by:

Vectorply: performance composite reinforcements logo
  • Major initial design differences between composites and legacy materials
  • Key hand calculations used when designing with composite materials
  • Validation of estimated composite material properties (i.e. testing)
  • Primary references and guidelines for designing with composites
  • Preliminary design of several applications using composites
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Trevor Gundberg
Vice President of Composite Engineering
Trevor Gundberg joined Vectorply in 2006 as a composite materials engineer, previously holding technical positions within the composites industry at both Toray Carbon Fibers America and DIAB Inc. He had been the director of composites engineering from 2010 to 2020 and is now the vice president of composites engineering. Trevor holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from North Dakota State University (with a minor in chemistry), holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware, is an ASQ-certified Six Sigma Green Belt and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Alabama.
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