Skip to main content

Composites Facility

The Composite Facility encompasses a suite of equipment to provide capability in formation of fiber based 3D and 2D preforms, manufacturing of composites using resin infusion, testing, evaluation, and characterization of fiber reinforced composites and high-performance fibrous structures (fibers, yarns and fabrics). 

The composite facility services education and research as well as the composite and high-performance fiber industry.

List of Unique Capabilities

  • 3D orthogonal weaving technology capable of producing fairly thick preforms from virtually any type of fibers. Dedicated CAD system allow the control of x-yarn density and weave pattern of the z-yarns. The y-yarns are supplied from individual packages. Hybrid preforms can be manufactured by strategically placing the preform constituents at desired locations in x-, y-, and/or z-direction.
  • 2D sample weaving machine capable of producing innovative 2D and 3D of 20-inch wide fabric samples from a small amount of any type of raw materials. Equipped with a dedicated CAD system for weave design development.
  • Testing, evaluation, and characterization of composite structures for their tensile, shear, flexural, impact, and thermal behavior.
  • Nondestructive testing capability and Optical Time Domain Reflectometry (OTDR) for characterizing strain distribution of composite structures with embedded optic sensors.

List of Equipment

  • 3TEX INC 3D orthogonal weaving machine
  • CCI sample fabric formation (sizing winder, warping, and weaving machines)
  • Resin Infusion capability include Hand-Lay and Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Mold
  • 50 Ton Hydraulic Press
  • Servo Hydraulic Load Frame: Load Capacity: 55 Kip (250 kN Dynamic, and 75 Kip (333 kN) Static. Equipped with fixtures to perform various tensile, compression, shear, flexure and fatigue tests. Also equipped with a Laser Extensometer and Strain Gauge Conditioner (supports inputs such as strain gauges, stain-based transducers, high-level voltage signals and thermocouples).
  • High energy drop tower impact tester with temperature controlled chamber. (-70°C to 100°C) Energy Range 0.59 – 1800 J (0.44 -1330 ft-lb) Impact Speed 2.53 – 78.7 ft/s (0.77 – 24 m/s) ), Drop Height 1.18 – 1160 inch (0.03 – 29.4 m).
  • Low energy drop tower impact tester. Energy Range 0.25 – 20.4 J (0.18 – 15.1 ft-lb), Impact Speed 2.53 – 12.2 ft/s (0.77 – 3.71 m/s), Drop Height Range 1.18 – 27.6 in (0.03 – 0.70 m).
  • Pendulum Impact Tester for Izod and Charpy tests: Energy range 0.5 to 50 J (0.37 to 36.8 ft-lb), impact speed range 9.5 to 12.5 ft/ s (2.9 to 3.8 m/s).
  • Pendulum impact Tester for Izod and Charpy tests: Energy Range 33.8 – 406.7 J (25 – 300 ft-lb), impact velocity range 11 – 17 ft/s (3.35 – 5.18 m/s).
  • Ultrasonic c-scan non-destructive testing, evaluates damage tolerance and failure, allows detection of cracks and voids.
  • Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR): Detects and locates events like breaks, bends and load, wavelengths 650 – 850 nm, minimum spatial resolution 2.5 cm, Dynamic range > 20 dB.


Abdel-Fattah Seyam, Charles A. Cannon Professor of Textiles |