Composites 101 by Brent Strong

Composites are the most complex of the standard structural materials and therefore need to be explained in an organized way. That is the basis of Composites 101. The basic nature of composites and the most common materials that are used to make composites will be explained. There will also be a discussion on why composites are so much better than other structural materials and give a non-technical overview on how composites are designed and manufactured. The most common products made from composites will be discussed and why each of them use composites.

Students should be able to converse easily about composites using the correct terms and also be able to understand the basic concepts of engineering that are used to design and manufacture composite parts. Students will understand the different composite materials and the advantages of each of the most common materials. Students will understand some of the advantages and problems with composites.

Dr. Strong taught composites for 27 years at Brigham Young University and wrote the textbook for the course (Fundamentals of Composites Manufacturing), now in its second edition. The book is used widely in the United States and abroad. Dr. Strong also developed the curriculum for a high school course in composites and specified the materials for a high school composites lab and supervised the construction of the lab.

Dr. Strong has been awarded the highest technical honor by SAMPE, the composites society and was recently given the Distinguished Service Award by that same society. His teaching and research capabilities were recognized by Brigham Young University when he was awarded the university’s highest faculty honor. He has been a guest lecturer on composites in several US universities and foreign conferences. He has been referred to as “The Mr. Rogers of composites teaching.”