The course starts by covering the fundamentals of fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs). In theoretical and practical sessions, the participants learn about the special features of these materials and about the various components of FRPs (fibers, matrix materials, core materials, fillers) and their effects on subsequent component properties. The differences between thermoplastics and thermosets are explained as are the typical features and properties of different fiber materials. Also covered are special aspects relating to the machining of FRPs and the practical sessions highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the various joining methods for FRPs (e.g. adhesive bonding, bolts/screws).
In order to adapt the component properties to meet specific requirements, it is vital to have knowledge about all influencing factors and their effects on the final products. The participants learn to estimate the effects of the individual starting materials (matrix, fiber type, textile semifinished product) on the resulting properties of the FRP component and to use this knowledge for production process planning. They also learn that not only the nature of the raw materials has a key effect but also their percentage share and spatial distribution. Optimal laminate structure and component geometry to maximize fiber/matrix interactions are also dealt with.
The participants are introduced to the principles of manual and machine-based production technologies. In addition to manual lamination, the special features of modern production methods such as thermoplastic processing, vacuum infusion technology, resin transfer molding (RTM), press methods, autoclave technology, winding methods, and pultrusion are discussed. The effect of the choice of matrix on the FRP production process is covered as are the necessary boundary conditions for production processes. Also discussed is how the production process, as well as the choice of raw materials and laminate structure, can affect the resulting properties of FRP components. In addition, the identification and prevention of errors and defects are discussed.
Health and safety at work and environmental protection
Safety measures to be taken when working with fibers, plastics, and auxiliary materials are discussed. The proper use of work equipment and protective equipment is also covered.
In order to carry out effective repairs it is vital to know the extent of the damage. The course participants learn how to identify typical types of damage to FRP materials and potential sources of the damage. They acquire a basic knowledge of non-destructive and destructive test methods. The course outlines what preliminary work is required for effective repair (e. g. removal of damaged sections, surface preparation). Strategies for repairing fiber reinforced plastic components are explained and these are then consolidated in practical assignments.