RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE COMPOSITES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS
We develop, test and characterise polymers and composites for use in product development and manufacturing
Our activities include research and development into design, creation and testing of polymers and composite materials, and analysing their effectiveness. We also investigate modelling, 3-D printing and structural integrity of sustainable biocomposites.
Our research informs teaching and knowledge transfer activities in the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering and Faculty of Technology. We contribute to the international research profile of the University of Portsmouth through high-quality publications and participations.
Our mission is to build modern work in advanced materials and manufacturing, through collaborative partnerships with industry and other partners.
Advanced composites application driven areas
- Composite materials (natural fibre composites and biocomposites for light weight applications)
- Conventional composites and nanocomposites
- Polymers/plastics (thermosets and thermoplastics)
- Composite manufacturing (aimed at exploring the link between materials, process and performance)
- Additive manufacturing (Design and rapid prototyping, 3D printing of polymers and composites)
- Lean manufacturing
The APC research group has well-equipped laboratories with facilities for R&D in advanced polymers and composites. The activities we undertake range from short-term consultancy works to medium-to-long-term research and knowledge transfer projects.
Successfully completed February 2023
Development and demonstrators of durable biobased composites for a marine environment. Read more at Interreg: SeaBioComp
The FLOWER Project
Successfully completed June 2023
We're working with partner organisations in the UK and France on an innovative research project to develop natural fibre composites that are a viable alternative to the non-recyclable fibreglass products widely used in the automotive and marine industries.
Facilities and capabilities
- Nano-testing (indentation, scratching and impact)
- Thermal characterisation (MDSC, DSC, TGA, TMA, DMA, laser flash and hot- wire thermal conductivities)
- Materials/Mechanical testing (tensile, compression and flexural test at low and elevated temperatures, pendulum, falling weight and ballistic test impact and
- Durability testing (thermal, chemical, moisture, UV and hygrothermal degradation test)
- Surface properties test (contact angle, surface tension and surface topography)
- Structural integrity evaluation (electronic shearography, C-scan, ARAMIS and CT-scan)
- Manufacturing (vacuum bagging, compression moulding, injection moulding, thermoforming and RTM)
- Finite element analysis of engineering and biomedical systems, materials failure, damage and manufacturing processes
- Machining of materials, such as conventional and non-conventional drillings, waterjet cutting, among others
- Modelling (analytical and numerical) and simulation of artificial hip and knee joints, materials failure, damage and manufacturing processes
- Fatigue/fracture, creep and oxidation at elevated temperature
Davies, P., LeGall, M., Niu, Z., De Witte, W., Everaert, G., Dhakal, H., Park, C-H, Demeyer, E. (2023). Composites Part C: An Open Access, Accepted.
Effect of lignin acetylation on the mechanical properties of lignin-poly-lactic acid biocomposites for advanced applications
Johansson, M., Skrifvars, M., Kadi, N., Dhakal, H.N. (2023). Industrial Crops and Products; 202, 117049.
Development of sustainable biopolymer-based composites for lightweight applications from agricultural waste biomass: A Review
Phiri, R., Sanjay, M.R., Seiengchin, S., Oladijo, O.P., Dhakal, H.N. (2023). Advanced Industrial and Engineering Polymer Research; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aiepr.2023.04.004.
Aponte, J.M., Webber, R., Centeno, M.A., Dhakal, H.N., Sayed, M.H., Malakooti, R. (2023). Petroleum Exploration and Development; 50, 2450-463.
The effect of various environmental conditions on the impact damage behaviour of natural-fibre-reinforced composites (NFRCs)-a critical review
Musthaq, M.A., Dhakal, H.N., Zhang, Z., Barouni, A., Zahari, R. (2023). Polymers 2023, 15, 1229. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051229.
Regenerated Cellulose fabric reinforced bio-based polypropylene sandwich composites: fabrication, mechanical performance and analytical modelling
Khalili., Skrifvars, M., Dhakal, H.N., Jiang, C. (2023). Journal of Materials Research and Technology, accepted
Sit, M., Ling, J., Jiang, C., Zhang, Z., Khalfallah, M., Ioos, F., Grossmann, E., Dhakal, H.N. (2022). Results in Materials; 16: 100333.
Review on natural plant fibres and their hybrid composites for structural application: Recent trends and future perspectives
Ismail, O.S., Akpan, E., Dhakal, H.N. (2022). Composites Part C: Open Access; 9: 100322.
Ahamed, B., Hasan, M., Azim, A.Y.M.A., Saifullah, A., Dhakal, H.N., Sarker, F. (2022). Composites Part C: An Open Access
Reprocessed materials used in rotationally moulded sandwich structures for enhancing environmental sustainability: low-velocity and impact and flexure-after-impact responses
Saifullah, A., Radhakrishanan, P., Wang, L., Saeed, B., Sarker, F., Dhakal, H.N. (2022). Materials; 15:6491
Media ready expert
Professor Hom Dhakal
Media ready expert