Composites Research Group
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Mike Johnson

Associate Professor (Engineering Design and Polymer Composites), Faculty of Engineering

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Expertise Summary

My background is in the area of polymer composites paired with engineering design. I have a broad understanding of appropriate applications for fibre reinforced composites and an ability to implement the processes for their manufacture. I have a particular interest in closed mould manufacturing techniques for composite materials based upon resin transfer moulding (RTM) and structural reaction injection moulding (SRIM). My experience also includes the manufacture of foam cored components using vacuum infusion (VI) and phenolic resins. Control of these resin injection processes using sensors for data acquisition and logic controllers for automation contributes to my research capability. More recent research into aluminium bonded structures has given me an understanding of joining limitations and appropriate test methods. Much of my work has been within the automotive, marine and rail transport industries. Specifically, I have unique expertise relating to rail vehicles as I was an engineering designer for a number of years.

Mike is a part of the Composites Research Group.

Research Summary

My principal research is in the field of polymer composites in relation to processing efficiency, however, this is broadening into the development of lightweight structures. Closed mould resin… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

My principal research is in the field of polymer composites in relation to processing efficiency, however, this is broadening into the development of lightweight structures. Closed mould resin injection techniques such as Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) and Vacuum Infusion (VI) are of specific interest, and in particular, the relationship between these two processes from the perspective of computational simulation. The aim of this work is to develop robust modelling tools for VI so that large fibre reinforced polymer components can be manufactured reliably. Joining of the polymer composite structures, either with themselves or to metals, also is an area of current research. Moisture which leads to foaming defects within thermally cured epoxy adhesives is being studied. Foaming defects inevitably result in a degradation of bond strength. The synergy between the substrate material, the adhesive itself, and the curing conditions affect the degree of foaming within the bond. As a result, a full understanding of these interactions must be understood in order to optimise the manufacture of structures using polymeric adhesives. Further research is being directed towards curing of both epoxy adhesives and polyester resins using electromagnetic (EM) energy within the ultraviolet (UV) to near visible blue wavelength range. The use of side emitting optical fibres is being investigated for the delivery of the EM energy to the polymers. The advantage of this technique is that the expense of thermal curing can be avoided. In addition curing can be conducted between UV opaque surfaces such as between bonded substrates or within double-sided mould tooling.

Future Research

My work in adhesive bonding of lightweight structures is an area of growth. In particular, ultraviolet (UV) curing adhesives using embedded, side emitting optical fibres will be pursued. The intention is that modelling of the side emission process will be implemented so that the degree of cure within the adhesive can be predicted. This will allow optimisation of the process and effective design of the bonded joints within the structure. This technique could be extended so that the optical fibre is used for sensing within the structure subsequent to curing, providing a "health monitoring" capability. Finally, the optical fibre may be used to deliver high dosages of electromagnetic energy into the bond, effectively causing degradation, and aiding in the disassembly of the structure at the end of its service life. This technology is of interest within a number of industries including the automotive, aerospace, marine, rail, and construction sectors, all of whom are increasingly using structural adhesives. In terms of lightweight structures, those fabricated by adhesively bonding aluminium are gaining favour. The aim is to increase production volumes of these structures, especially within the automotive industry. Techniques for rapid processing of the thermally cured, aluminium bonded structures will be undertaken. In addition, we intend to model the thermal curing process for these structures to resolve issues of distortion that arise as the structure cools at varying rates. Cladding of lightweight structures will also be explored through the use of fibre metal laminates (FML's). These materials currently are used within the aerospace industry, however, applications with the automotive and rail industry are prevalent. One area requiring further research is the effects of forming on these materials. Modelling and experimental validation will help establish design tools that are essential for wider use of FML's.

  • BURN, D. T., HARPER, L. T., JOHNSON, M., WARRIOR, N. A., NAGEL, U., YANG, L. and THOMASON, J., 2016. The usability of recycled carbon fibres in short fibre thermoplastics: interfacial properties: Journal of Materials Science Journal of Materials Science. 51(16), 7699-7715
  • P.H. CHAN, K.Y. TSHAI, M. JOHNSON, H.L. CHOO, S. LI and K. ZAKARIA, 2015. Burst Strength of Carbon Fibre Reinforced HDPE Strip Pipeline Repair System - A Numerical and Experimental Approach Journal of Composite Materials. 49(6), 749-756
  • CHAN P. H., JOHNSON M. S., TSHAI K. Y., CHOO H. L., LI S. and ZAKARIA K., 2014. Finite Element Analysis of Combined Static Loadings on Offshore Pipe Riser Repaired with Fibre-Reinforced Composite Laminates Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites. 33, 514–525
  • CHAN P. H., JOHNSON M. S., TSHAI K. Y. and LI S., 2014. Part 2 Particular techniques: FRP Composite Repair of Offshore Risers. In: KARBHARI V. M., ed., Rehabilitation of pipelines using fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites Woodhead Publishing.
  • BURN D. T., HARPER L. T., JOHNSON M. S., WARRIOR N. A., YANG L. and THOMASON J., 2014. THE INFLUENCE OF COUPLING AGENT, FIBRE SIZING AND MATRIX DEGRADATION ON THE INTERFACIAL SHEAR STRENGTH BETWEEN CARBON FIBRE AND POLYPROPYLENE In: ECCM-16TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON COMPOSITE MATERIALS.
  • CONSTANTIN H., KENNEDY A. R., HARPER L. T., JOHNSON M. S. and WARRIOR N. A., 2014. THE EFFECT OF NICKEL COATING OF CARBON FIBRE ON THE INFILTRATION PRESSURE REQUIRED TO PRODUCE FIBRE REINFORCED ALUMINIUM In: ECCM-16TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON COMPOSITE MATERIALS.
  • CHAN P. H., TSHAI K. Y., JOHNSON M. S. and LI S., 2014. The Flexural Properties of Composite Repaired Pipeline: Numerical Simulation and Experimental Validation Composite Structures. (In Press.)
  • CHAN P. H., JOHNSON M. S., TSHAI K. Y., CHOO H. L. and LI S., 2013. Burst Strength of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polyethylene Strip Pipeline Repair System - A Numerical and Experimental Approach Journal of Composite Materials. (In Press.)
  • CHAN P. H., JOHNSON M. S., TSHAI K. Y., CHOO H. L. and LI S., 2013. Finite Element Analysis of Composite Repair System in Offshore Pipelines Subjected to Cyclic Loading International Journal of Fracture. (In Press.)
  • JOHANSON K., HARPER L. T., JOHNSON M. S., KENNEDY A. and WARRIOR N. A., 2013. STUDYING THE HETEROGENEITY OF DISCONTINUOUS FIBER COMPOSITES USING A NEW FULL-FIELD STRAIN MEASUREMENT SYSTEM In: 19th International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM19), Montreal, Canada.
  • P.H. CHAN, K.Y. TSHAI, M. JOHNSON and H.L. CHOO, 2012. Finite Element Modelling of Static and Fatigue Failure of Composite Repair System in Offshore Pipe Risers. In: 2012 International Conference on Advanced Material and Manufacturing Science (ICAMMS), Beijing, China.
  • P.H. CHAN, K.Y. TSHAI, M. JOHNSON and H.L. CHOO, 2012. Finite Element Modelling of Composite Repair in Offshore Pipe Riser. Advanced Materials Research: Advanced Materials and Processes II. 557-559, 2239-2242
  • CHAN P. H., JOHNSON M. S. and TSHAI K. Y., 2012. Finite Element Modelling of Composite Repair in Offshore Pipe Riser In: International Conference on Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials (ICCEAM), Guangzhou, China.
  • CHAN P. H., JOHNSON M. S., TSHAI K. Y., CHOO H. L. and LI S., 2012. A Finite Element Study of the Influence of Coupled Loadings on Offshore Pipe Riser Repaired with Fibre Reinforced Composite Laminates In: 8th Asian-Australian Conference on Composite Materials (ACCM8), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • NORTON, T.W., PUJOL, S., JOHNSON, M.S. and TURNER, T.A., 2011. Cold-cure adhesives for use in structural aluminium bonding The Journal of Adhesion. 87(7-8), 858-883
  • ALOBAIDANI, A.D., FURNISS, D., JOHNSON, M.S., ENDRUWEIT, A. and SEDDON, A.B., 2010. Optical transmission of PMMA optical fibres exposed to high intensity UVA and visible blue light Optics and Lasers in Engineering. 48(5), 575-582
  • BOND, K., EASTWICK, C., JOHNSON, M. S. and PRENTICE, J., 2010. Use of E-Learning to Encourage Engagement and Depth of Understanding across Engineering Science and Design within the First Year of and Engineering Degree In: The Engineering Education 2010 Conference.
  • NORTON T. W., PUJOL S, JOHNSON M. S. and TURNER T. A., 2010. Cold-Cure Adhesives for the Use in Structural Aluminium Bonding In: 4th International Conference on Advanced Computational Engineering and Experimenting (ACE-X 2010), Paris, France.
  • MODI, D., JOHNSON, M., LONG, A. and RUDD, C., 2009. Analysis of pressure profile and flow progression in the vacuum infusion process Composites Science and Technology. 69(9), 1458-1464
  • BROOKS, R, JOHNSON, M.S and LIU, X. B., 2009. Prediction and Video Tracking of Damage Accumulation in Hybrid Thermoplastic Composite Structures In: 17th International Conference on Composite Materials. D12:12
  • ALOBAIDANI, A. D, JOHNSON, M. S and FURNISS, D., 2009. Optimisation and Spectroscopic Experiments of Cationic Epoxy Formulations for the Application of Photocuring of Deep Resin Mediums Using Side Emitting Optical Fibres In: 17th International Conference on Composite Materials. IC3:11
  • ENDRUWEIT, A., ALOBAIDANI, A.D., FURNISS, D., SEDDON, A.B., BENSON, T., JOHNSON, M.S. and LONG, A.C., 2008. Spectroscopic experiments regarding the efficiency of side emission optical fibres in the UV-A and visible blue spectrum Optics and Lasers in Engineering. 46(2), 97-105
  • ALOBAIDANI, A. D., FURNISS, D., ENDRUWEIT, A., JOHNSON, M. S., BENSON, T. and SEDDON, A. B., 2008. Enhancement of the Side Emission Efficiency of Commercial PMMA Optical Fibres in the UV-A and Visible Blue Spectrum for Photocuring of Epoxy Resins In: 13th European Conference on Composite Materials.
  • ENDRUWEIT, A., RUIJTER, W., JOHNSON, M.S. and LONG, A.C., 2008. Transmission of ultraviolet light through reinforcement fabrics and it effect on ultraviolet curing of composite laminates Polymer Composites. 29(7), 818-829
  • MODI, D., CORREIA, N., JOHNSON, M., LONG, A., RUDD, C. and ROBITAILLE, F., 2007. Active control of the vacuum infusion process Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing. 38(5), 1271-1287
  • MODI, D. K, JOHNSON, M. S and LONG, A. C. AND RUDD, C. D., 2007. Investigation of Pressure Profile and Flow Progression in the Vacuum Infusion Process Plastic, Rubber and Composites: Macromolecular Engineering. 36(3), 101-110
  • PUJOL, S, JOHNSON, M. S., KENDALL, K. N. and HILL, D. J., 2007. The Effects of Processing Parameters on Reactive Epoxy Resins In: 16th International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM-16).
  • PUJOL S, JOHNSON M. S., HILL D. J., WARRIOR N. A. and KENDALL K. N., 2007. The Effects of Processing Parameters on Reactive Epoxy Adhesives In: 16th International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM16), Kyoto, Japan.
  • SCHUBEL, P.J., JOHNSON, M.S., WARRIOR, N.A. and RUDD, C.D., 2006. Characterisation of thermoset laminates for cosmetic automotive applications: Part III - shrinkage control via nanoscale reinforcement Composites. Part A, Applied Science and Manufacturing. 37(10), 1757-1772
  • ENDRUWEIT, A., MCGREGOR, P., LONG, A.C. and JOHNSON, M.S., 2006. Influence of the fabric architecture on the variations in experimentally determined in-plane permeability values Composites Science and Technology. 66(11-12), 1778-1792
  • ENDRUWEIT, A., JOHNSON, M. S. and LONG, A. C., 2006. Curing of composite components by ultraviolet radiation: A review Polymer Composites. VOL 27(NUMBER 2), 119-128
  • TANSLEY, G. and JOHNSON, M., 2006. The value of indeterminate design tasks in teaching undergraduate engineers World Transactions on Engineering and Technology Education. 5(2), 307-310
  • ENDRUWEIT, A, JOHNSON, M. S and LONG, A. C., 2006. Textile Composites with Embedded Optical Fibres: Quantification of Bending Losses in Transmitted Light Intensity Using a Monte-Carlo Ray-Tracing Method In: 8th International Conference on Textile Composites (TEXCOMP-8).
  • ENDRUWEIT, A, LONG, A.C and JOHNSON, M.S., 2006. Properties of polyester-glass fibre laminates produced by ultraviolet curing In: 12th European Conf. on Composite Materials (ECCM-12), Biarritz, France..
  • BROOKS, R., JOHNSON, M. S., LIU, X. B and LONG, A., 2006. Predicting Damage and Failure in Hybrid Thermoplastic Composite Structures In: The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) Europe 27th International Conference.
  • MODI, D. K., JOHNSON, M. S., LONG, A. C. and RUDD, C. D., 2006. Active Control of the Vacuum Infusion Process In: 8th International Conference on Flow Processes in Composite Materials (FPCM-8).
  • MODI, D. K., JOHNSON, M. S., LONG, A. C. and RUDD, C. D., 2006. Comparison of the Pressure Profile and Flow Progression between Radial Flow VI and RTM Processes In: 12th European Conference on Composite Materials (ECCM-12).
  • MODI, D. K, JOHNSON, M. S and LONG, A. C. AND RUDD, C. D., 2006. Investigation of the Pressure Distribution in a Radial Flow Vacuum Infusion Process In: The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) Europe 26th International Conference.
  • TANSLEY, G. and JOHNSON M. S., 2006. Towards the Unknown-Developing Students' Abilities in Dealing with Indeterminate Design Tasks In: 2nd International Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate (CDIO-2) Conference.
  • MODI, D. K, JOHNSON, M. S, LONG, A. C and ROBITAILLE, F. AND RUDD, C. D., 2005. Controlled Vacuum Infusion of Heterogeneous Fibrous Preforms In: 15th International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM-15). 1-10
  • LONG, A. C., MODI, D. K., JOHNSON M. S. and RUDD, C. D., 2005. Flow Process Control for Liquid Composite Moulding Using "Real-Time" Process Modelling In: The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) Europe 25th International Conference.
  • RUDD, C. D, JOHNSON, M. S., HILL, D. J. and BLANCHARD, P. J., 1998. High Speed, Low Investment Liquid Composite Moulding-A Technology Review Materials Technology. 13(1), 15-21
  • JOHNSON, M. S., RUDD, C. D. and HILL, D. J., 1998. Microwave Assisted Resin Transfer Moulding Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing. 29(1-2), 71-86
  • HILL, D. J., JOHNSON, M. S. and RUDD, C. D., 1998. Design and Application of a Cylindrical TM020 Mode Applicator for the In-Line Microwave Preheating of Liquid Thermosets Journal of Microwave Power and Electromagnetic Energy. 33(4), 216-230
  • JOHNSON, M. S., RUDD, C. D. and HILL, D. J., 1997. Effects of Microwave Resin Preheating on the Quality of RTM Laminates In: 11th International Conference on Composite Matterials (ICCM-11).
  • LONG, A. C., JOHNSON M. S., RUDD, C. D. and BLAGDON, M., 1997. Experimental Analysis of Fabric Deformation Mechanisms During Preform Manufacture In: 11th International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM-11).
  • RUDD, C. D, JOHNSON, M. S., HILL, D. J. and BLANCHARD, P. J., 1997. Towards High Speed, Low Investment Liquid Moulding In: Advanced Composites Conference and Exposition.
  • JOHNSON, M. S., RUDD, C. D. and HILL, D. J., 1997. The Effect of Microwave Resin Preheating on the Quality of Laminates Produced by Resin Transfer Moulding Polymer Composites. 18(2), 185-197
  • DUFFY, A. P., JOHNSON, M. S., HILL, D. J. and BENSON, T. M., 1996. Analysis of Microwave Resonators Using Transmission Line Modelling IEE Proceedings - Science, Measurement and Technology. 143(6), 362-368
  • JOHNSON, M. S., RUDD, C. D. and BLANCHARD, P. J., 1996. Cycle Time Reductions in RTM Based on Resin Preheating and Phased Initiators In: 7th European Conference on Composite Materials (ECCM-7). 291-296
  • JOHNSON, M. S., RUDD, C. D. and HILL, D. J., 1996. Microwave Assisted Resin Transfer Moulding In: 4th International Conference on Flow Processes in Composite Materials (FPCM-4). 1-29
  • JOHNSON, M. S., RUDD, C. D. and HILL, D. J., 1995. Cycle Time Reductions in Resin Transfer Moulding Using Microwave Preheating Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part B, Journal of Engineering Manufacture. 209(B6), 443-453
  • JOHNSON, M. S. and RUDD, C. D., 1995. High Volume Automotive Manufacturing and Liquid Composite Moulding In: Materials for Lean Weight Vehicles. 189-198
  • JOHNSON, M. S., RUDD, C. D. and HILL, D. J., 1995. Microwave Resin Preheating for the Resin Transfer Moulding Process In: 4th International Conference on Automated Composites (ICAC-4). 291-297
  • JOHNSON, M. S. and GREIF, R., 1991. A Combined Theoretical/Experimental Approach to the Dynamic Characterisation of Viscoelastic Materials The Journal of Engineering Materials and Technology (ASME). 114(1), 77-80

Composites Research Group

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG9 5HR


contact: Prof Nick Warrior
email: composites@nottingham.ac.uk