Composites Research Group

Mechanical and Failure Analysis 

The Mechanical and Failure Analysis research theme aims to characterise anisotropic material properties of our manufactured composites in the elastic and in-elastic regions.

Activities include mechanical testing of composite materials and constituents to support our simulation activities and measurement and prediction of different failure modes. Prof Shuguang Li was one of the research team in the well-known World-Wide-Failure Exercise activity.




We have a well-founded mechanical testing laboratory including the following equipment:

  • Materials testing machines with load cells up to 250kN for both static and cyclic dynamic loading
  • High resolution digital image correlation (DIC) system and high speed DIC system
  • High resolution electronic speckle pattern interferometry system
  • Thermoelasticity system
  • Hand-held and tripod mounted infra-red cameras
  • High speed cameras
  • Strain gauge and extensometer measurement equipment
  • Data acquisition devices

Research projects

AVIC NOTTINGHAM University Innovation Centre

Press release:

AVIC NOTTINGHAM University Innovation Centre






The University of Nottingham is developing a new University Innovation Centre (UIC) with one of China’s biggest aerospace businesses.

Under the agreement with ACAE (AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Company Limited) the University, will, over the next three years, undertake a number of civil aerospace research projects in the UIC.


Measurement of Materials Properties

Sponsor: Boeing

Investigator: Davide De Focatiis

Impact damage in composite components
Sponsor: AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China)
Buckling analysis software of Stiffened panel structure
Sponsor: AVIC
Investigator: Shuguang Li
Analysis of the buckling and post-buckling behaviour of stiffened composite panels with and without impact damage.
Biaxial Testing
Investigator: Davide De Focatiis
A mechanism for biaxial testing of materials using uniaxial testing machines
A novel adaptor for conducting biaxial stress tests using uniaxial testing machines
Davide De Focatiis and Samuel Kelly developed a novel adaptor, with the ability to be retrofitted to existing uniaxial stress machines, enabling an equibiaxial deformation to be applied to a specimen.


Composites Research Group

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

contact: Prof Nick Warrior