UNSW Facilities

The Automated Composites Laboratory


The Automated Composites Laboratory within Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at UNSW Australia allows students, academics and industry partners to solve real-world engineering challenges.
Australia is already considered a global leader in the field of composites research. With its leading academics and some of the most advanced equipment available in any educational organisation, UNSW is helping to develop essential fabrication capabilities across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Composite Manufacturing Robot

This state-of-the-art Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) robot is the centrepiece of the Automated Composites Laboratory, and allows for the integration of computeraided design, analysis and manufacture of composite components. The AFP facility features a coordinated multi-axis robot and spindle system for maximum control over fibre trajectories and part geometry. The facility includes a head for laying parallel thermoset prepreg composite tows as well as a specialist thermoplastic composite head for in-situ melding (melting and welding) for one-shot part fabrication.
Specifications:
  1. 6 axis robot platform with coordinated spindle
  2. 4 tow thermoset prepreg processing head
  3. High-temperature thermoplastic placement head
  4. Part processing up to ~4m
  5. Integrated software for CATIA and Solidworks
  6. A range of flat and revolute tooling
Instron 8804 Axial Servohydraulic Machine
Features a high-stiffness 4 column frame for testing up to 500kN. Can be used for static and fatigue testing of metals and composites for a large range of applications.
Instron CEAST 9350 Drop Tower Impactor
High-energy and high-velocity impact testing machine up to 1800J and/or 24m/s. Caters for a range of impact specimen types in a thermally controlled environment (-70 to 150°C).

Our lab strengths

+ Australia’s only Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) facility
+ Aerospace-grade processing capability
+ Structural testing of large components with complex loading capability

+ Material characterisation, design, analysis, lay-up, curing and testing under one roof
+ Ready to partner with industry for applied research opportunities