Course syllabus


MPM052 Composite and nanocomposite materials lp1 HT23MPM052_HT23 (7.5 hp)

The course is offered by the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, and the 2023 edition will be held in  ES52, and ED, the lab in M9 at Chalmers Johanneberg Campus.

For an updated classroom please check the time edit or the course.

Contact details

Course purpose

All three classes of composite materials are included in the course: polymeric matrix composites (PMC), as well as metallic and ceramic matrix composites (MMC and CMC), though the main focus is on PMC. Dominantly, conventional (that is using micro-size reinforcement) composites are discussed. Nanocomposites (that is using nanosized reinforcement) are included in the course but to a lesser extent because the industry is mainly using conventional composites. Nevertheless, nanocomposites are making excellent research and growing engineering impacts, following science and development in the field of nanoparticles.


  • This is an advanced-level course designed for MSc and PhD students as well as for professionals in the industry. The aims are three-fold to provide: (i) materials and basic mechanics understandings of composites and nanocomposites, (ii) theories and practical aspects of composites for research and engineering, and (iii) overall strategies, updates, impacts and challenges in the field of composites.

There are many applications and great expectations connected to composites, among others in the automotive, aerospace, civil engineering, and electronics industries.


After reading this course you should be able to: understand structure-properties relations, concerning their mechanical performances; an overview of the field of composites, handle applications and judge the materials according to various criteria. Thus you should be able to:

    • apply/inform/describe methods, updates, impacts and challenges in the field of composites
    • synthesize/explain from constituents through structure through interactions through processing to properties to performance to applications
    • apply your so-far knowledge of physics, materials and mechanics, and new knowledge of types of fillers/fibres and matrices, and interactions between them, towards improved, high-quality materials and their performances. This is necessary for cost/profile analysis in your future job.
    • apply specific knowledge acquired through studying course parts A-G to prepare your own application (problem-based learning, PBL).
    • implement micromechanics and macro-mechanics approaches and develop your own computer code based on MATLAB for calculating laminates
    • independently from issues, conclude/judge/compare; thus imparting more increased complexity in the analysis of composites.

Course evaluation

From 1 January 2012, the Student – och utbildningsavdelningen administrative unit at Chalmers is responsible for the support to course evaluation for the advanced level courses. Within the support, where among others the Educational Secretary (Johan Bankel, is included, procedures have been developed to elect student representatives to the course board. Also, dates for course board meetings will be set, and course questionnaires will be delivered.

Lecturers are responsible for:

    • Informing about course evaluation in the introduction of the course in Kurs-PM (course information), and to
      introducing student representatives 
    • Calling two-course board meetings (1 & 2) - notes from meeting two will be published on the course homepage
    • Presenting a view on the course at the course board meeting
    • Improving the course before the course's next run (say, before the next academic year)
    • Adding items to the course questionnaire.


The course consists of 8 parts (A-G + End-of-life)

    • A - Introduction
    • B - Reinforcements & matrices
    • C - Manufacturing
    • D - Elastic & hygrothermal properties
    • E - The interface region
    • F - Performance
    • G - Polymer nanocomposites
    • End-of-life

The frameworks of materials science and engineering, mechanics of heterogeneous materials, as well as manufacturing techniques are used in the course to study the chain: manufacturing-structure-performances in service. Particular attention is given to the near-fibre region (interphase) as the reinforcement-matrix interaction is crucial for composites. Manufacturing is necessarily included as designing with composites is strictly related to manufacturing. Noteworthy performances: stiffness, strength, fracture, toughness, fatigue, creep, damping, and lightweight performance. Although the course is predominantly a materials course, some aspects of design are included. A project is included in the course, where project teams will be formed to advance an application of composites, first of all by applying course knowledge and widening with literature knowledge.

To summarize, this course goes some distance in building a complete knowledge of these important materials.

A recommended course helping you to read the present one is Polymer Processing and properties (MTT090), although a fundamental course in polymeric materials is a possible alternative. 



Course literature

Compendium Composite and nanocomposite materials, Ed. 6, 2012 compiled in the Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers. The compendium includes PMCs, CMCs and MMCs.


The tutorials' timetable is included in the table above. Selected problems in composite materials will be solved. Some solutions are given in the compendium. All solutions will be posted on the course homepage after each tutorial.

Course design

Learning objectives 

    • Structure of the area of composites.
    • Handle applications and judge composites according to various criteria.
    • Apply/inform/describe methods, updates, impacts, and challenges in the field of composites.
    • Synthesize/explain from constituents through structure through interactions through processing to properties to performance to applications.
    • Apply knowledge of physics, materials and mechanics, and new knowledge of types of fillers/fibres and matrices, and interactions between them, towards improved, high-quality materials and their performances. This is a step toward cost/profile analysis in your future job.
    • Apply knowledge acquired through studying course parts A-G and End-of-life to prepare your own application (project, problem-based learning, PBL).
    • Implement micromechanics and macro-mechanics approaches and develop your own computer code based on MATLAB for calculating laminates independently from issues.
    • Conclude/judge/compare the increased complexity in the analysis of composites.

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen.

Study plan






Exam at Johannesberg Capus on: TBD!!!

Tutorial/consultation time with the examiner: every Tuesday from 12:00-14:00 and anytime by mail to


Examination form


There are four compulsory activities in the course:

  • Mat-lab
  • project
  • company visit
  • examination



Lab Instruction Sheet for Laminate Theory will be handed out. The lab consists of two parts: computation (carried out in the computer room) and experiment (results handed out). In the preparation stage, you need to acquaint yourself with the laminate theory and train indicated typical calculations. Solutions to problems D12 need to be handed to the lab instructors before the order to be admitted to the lab. During the lab, laminate equations will be implemented and solved using MATLAB, and the obtained result will be compared with an experimental result. For lab dates - see the timetable.

Approval of the lab: You will prepare a group report and submit it to the lab instructors Angelica and Ezgi You need to actively take part in the lab activities and the preparation of the lab report. A group lab report needs to be approved.


Project-based learning (PBL) is included in the course in the form of a Project. It constitutes about 10% of the course content. Points earned (max. 10 p) will be added to exam points. Why Project? Nowadays, through the professional careers of engineers and scientists, working both in industry and academia as well as other fields, preparing reports and presentations for different target audiences is a significant part of one’s work routine. Thus, the project has two features: (i) a written report and (ii) a presentation of the project.

The project will be carried out in teams (of a minimum of two to five students). 

You will deal with an application of composites vs. nanocomposites (nanocomposites need to be included in the project) and document your findings (the report).

In the end, you will prepare a team presentation which will be graded.

All members of the team will receive the same amount of points.

The project constitutes about 10% of the course. Points earned (max. 10 p) will be added to exam points (max 5p for the written report, max 5p for the oral presentation).

Project topics: any applications of polymeric composite vs. nanocomposites you are interested in finding out more about (including all the parts of the course A-G + critical aspects of their end-of-life), compared to a current or traditional application of PMCs, (or combinations of PMCs and MMCs or CMCs). Guidelines and examples will be given in the introductory lessons.

  • The examiner together with the teachers and lab assistants will select the project team members, which then will propose a project topic. The project SHOULD include all 8 parts (7 of the compendium A to G and the end-of-life aspects) of an agreed composite AND nanocompositeincluding the part of calculations of parts D and F) and register the application and team members with Giada ( by Friday 2023 Sept 8th.
  • A template for the project will be provided by the lab instructors (news of the 2023 edition!)

4 TEAMS in the 2023 edition of the course!



Team 1






Team 2






Team 3





Team 4

Siva Ravi Sankar





*Students not attending the course on Friday, September 1st, when the teams have been randomly composed. Their presence on the course, and then the project needs to be confirmed.


A written examination (in English) will take place at the end of the quarter, at Johanneberg Campus. If the need arises, a re-sit (re-examination, omtenta) will take place in January, also Johanneberg Campus. Exam papers can include questions from parts A to G, End-of-life AND topics related to invited lectures and the visit to a company, each question carrying a given amount of points in proportion to the number of lecture hours. The maximum amount of points is 100: 90 p (max.) from the written examination + 10 p (max.) from the project (5 points for the report, 5 points for the presentation). The following materials are allowed during the examination: an approved type of calculator (Casio Fx82, Texas TI30, Sharp ELW531), standard mathematical tables, for example, Beta, dictionary.

Missed deadlines and revisions need the approval of the examiner.


  • Pass the examination with a minimum of 40 points (project points not included)
  • The project needs to gain at least 5 out of 10 points  (max 5 points for the report, max 5 points for oral presentation).
  • The lab report needs to be approved.
  • Participation in the company visit 

The final grade is based on the overall result, meaning if passed the examination will be complemented by the project points. Preliminary grading is 40-59 p for grade 3, 60-79 p for grade 4, and at least 80 p for grade 5.



student representatives that have been randomly selected for the course 
MPM052 Composite and nanocomposite materials:
MPAEM Amit Chetry
MPPEN Sourav Uday Jannu
UTBYTE Félix Pestre
MPAEM Suriyaprakash Saravanan



Course summary:

Date Details Due