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

CIMComp EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub

Project: CIMComp EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Hub

Partners: University of BristolInvestment: £10.3 million

Funding body:EPSRC


The Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub was created in 2016, following a multi-million-pound investment by the EPSRC. Its main goal is to engage academics from across the UK to deliver a step-change in the production of polymer matrix composites.

Led by the University of Nottingham and University of Bristol, the Hub has:

• 16 UK academic members,

• 23 international academic institutions

,• 47 industrial partners,

• 30 researchers, 120 EngD/PhD students trained, and, 

• 4 High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centres.

Over a seven-year period, the Hub will drive the development of automated manufacturing technologies that deliver components and structures for demanding applications in various sectors, such as aerospace, energy, transportation, and construction. 

To achieve its vision, the Hub collaborated with industry partners to identify five research priority areas:

1. High-rate deposition and rapid processing technologies

2. Design for manufacture via validated simulation 

3. Manufacturing for multifunctional composites and integrated structures

4. Inspection and in-process evaluation

5. Recycling and re-use

Each area has its own corresponding ‘Grand Challenges’, around which a series of projects are being conducted. So far, more than 30 projects have been funded by the hub, with 39 projected to be completed within the seven-year timeline. 



Composites Research Group

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

contact: Prof Nick Warrior