CRC for Advanced Composite Structures
RMIT University is a core participant in the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS). The Composites CRC brings together research providers, including RMIT University, with the composites industry to provide competitive technology for Australian industry. The Centre is widely recognised as one of the world's leading composites research organisations, since its inception in 1991. RMIT has been a key player in establishing the Centre at the fore-front of composites technology.
The research focus is the design and through-life assessment of aerospace and marine structures made with polymer matrix composites. Major research projects include:
- Impact and dynamic modelling of complex composite aircraft structures.
- Development and evaluation of advanced structural health monitoring technologies for composite aircraft, including Bragg grating optical fibres, piezoelectric transducers, acoustic emission, comparative vacuum monitoring, and various other active technologies.
- Assessment of the long-term durability of passive structural health monitoring sensors in aircraft composite structures.
- Development of models for calculating the structural properties of composites and aluminium alloys in fire.
- Advanced damage tolerant composites with through-thickness reinforcement; including 3D woven, stitched, z-pinned and z-anchored materials.
The RMIT research group which collaborates with the Composites CRC is compromised of academic staff, research fellows, research students, undergraduate students and technical staff. It consists of four academic staff, three research fellows, about ten MEng and PhD students, and about 10 undergraduate aerospace students. In addition, the group has an Adjunct Professor and Professorial Fellow who are CRC research staff.
The group actively collaborates with other participants in the CRC, including the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Monash University and GKN Aerospace Engineering Services. In addition, the group undertakes international collaborative research with the German Aerospace Centre, DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.), Virginia Tech, University of North Carolina, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials and Testing, EMPA (Switzerland).
As well as research, the group delivers specialists courses on composites engineering to industry. The group is remarkably successful in attracting competitive research funding, publishes extensively in leading international journals, and has received research awards.