The need to develop light but strong materials to improve on fuel efficiencies in transportation and to improve the performance of engineering structures explicitly requires a good foundation in materials science research. The University can point to success stories in the application of this science, such as the Composites Innovation Centre (CIC) at Smartpark, the ISIS Canada Research Network and the Composite Materials and Structures Research Group. Continued innovation in composites, including those developed from biological materials, will require sound fundamental research to understand the role of structure and bonding at various length scales in dictating the limits of performance as density is decreased. A key question in the adoption of composites from renewable resources is what processing strategies can be devised to compensate for deficiencies in raw material properties (due to natural variability) so that performance targets for bio-composites can be consistently met.
Examples of ongoing research: Aerospace composite materials, intelligent sensing for innovative civil engineering structures, fiber reinforced polymer materials, fabrics, composites generated from biological materials, oil seed resins, "breathable" and "smart" textiles and wound dressings.
Participating Researchers:Liu, Polyzois, Shalaby, Svecova, Zhong