Where next?

It’s important to remember that this is a research project, exploring very novel materials and techniques. However, in common with much university research these days, we have a big focus on practical applications and creating real-world impacts.

What we’re doing

Gradual failure

One of the big things we’re trying to achieve with ductile composites is more gradual failure, which could lead to safer products that fail with plenty of warning.

Composite overload sensor

Another way we are hoping to make a difference to safety is through our patent pending composite overload sensor. This gives an immediate indication of whether the thing the sensor is attached to has been subject to a high load that could lead to it failing.


We are also developing a technology to make recycled carbon fibres back into useful products. As the use of carbon fibre becomes more and more common in things like cars, this will become even more important.


We are looking into potential applications and other technologies within a variety of industries.


  • Aerospace and defence, automotive and transport
  • Civil, and oil and gas
  • Sports equipment

Potential applications

Gradual failure

When ultra thin angle-plies are combined with fragmenting unidirectional layers in the correct ratio, a laminate can exhibit a large non-linearity.

This behaviour is achieved via reorientation of the off-axis fibres and a gradual failure of the unidirectional fibres.

Tubular strut deformation demonstrator

The video shows the tensile testing of a tubular member that was manufactured in order to demonstrate these phenomena in a ‘real-world’ component.

A large extension is coupled with a clear decrease in the width of the tube over the course of the footage, which corresponds to the fibre rotations and fragmentations. This type of response holds significant potential in uni-axial loading where sudden, catastrophic failure is to be avoided.

Pseudo-ductile skateboard with strain sensor

The video shows a pseudo-ductile thin-ply carbon fibre composite longboard incorporating a novel strain overload sensing technology.

Novel carbon fibre ductile composite longboard

Other HiPerDuCT technologies

HiPerDiF: recycling

The HiPerDiF multi-unit head in the video above is capable of aligning discontinuous fibres (1 to 12 mm length) and manufacturing preforms up to 5 mm wide.

The main alignment mechanism is a sudden momentum change of fibre-water suspension.

HiPerDiF demonstration

A high fibre alignment level is the key factor to increase the fibre volume fraction and consequently achieve high mechanical performance of discontinuous fibre composites [1].

In the field of composite recycling, the HiPerDiF technology showed great potential in the remanufacturing of reclaimed carbon fibres [2,3].

  • H. Yu, K.D. Potter, M.R. Wisnom. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing. 65, 2014, pp. 175-185.
  • M.L. Longana, H. Yu, M. Jalalvand, M.R. Wisnom, K.D. Potter. Composites Science and Technology. 143, 2017, pp. 13-21.
  • M.L. Longana, N. Ong, H. Yu, K.D. Potter. Composites Structures. 153, 2016, pp. 271-277.