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Honours Theses

Honours Thesis Title Student Completed
1 Hockey Stick Analysis Dynamics During Slap Shot Situations Annie Mu May 1996
2 Response of a Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Composite Bicycle Fork to Static and Fatigue Loading Todd Turner June 1997
3 Low Velocity Impact Behavior of a Composite Plate Patton Chan June 1997
4 Modeling of Transverse Cracking in a Cross-Ply Laminate by a Finite Element Approach Jonathan Csakany May 1998


MEng Theses and Projects

MEng Thesis or Project Title Student Completed
1 Failure of Laminated Composite Pinned/Bolted Connections Mahmood Shokrieh MEng Thesis July 1991
2 Fatigue and Damage Tolerance Analysis of Composite Laminates - Stiffness Loss, Damage Modeling and Life Prediction Bangyan Liu MEng Thesis May 1992
3 Applied Classical Laminate & Thin Walled Beam Theory - An Introduction to MLAM Roberto Caniglia MEng Project Sept. 1992
4 Failure of Laminated Composites Containing an Open Hole in Compression: Processor for PDHOLEC and Simulation Jean-Pierre Barquero MEng Project Mar. 1993
5 Three-Dimensional Analysis of Composite Material Edge Effects Andrew Schmidt MEng Thesis s Mar. 1995
6 Mechanical Properties and Prediction of "Pseudo-Creep" of Overhead Power Transmission Conductors Under Normal Temperature and Constant Tension Jing Cao MEng Thesis Mar. 1995
7 Static and Fatigue Behaviour of Unidirectional Composites in Compression Jean-Francois Milette MEng Thesis May 1995
8 A Literature Review of Composite Material Applications in Space Robotics Tony Manolikakis MEng Project Nov. 1995
9 Testing and Analysis of Shear Properties of Composite Materials Olivia Eilers MEng Thesis Nov. 1995
10 Stress Analysis and Fabrication of Composite Monocoque Bicycle Frames Patrick Lizotte MEng Thesis July 1996
11 Review on Wear and Friction of Polymer Composites Muhammad Amleh MEng Project Dec. 1996
12 Joining of Laminated Composite Materials with Titanium Joseph Bouraad MEng Project Jan. 1997
13 Development of a Test Standard for Bicycle Handlebars Tareck Horchani MEng Project Feb. 1997
14 Design and Fabrication of a Lightweight Robotic Manipulator Matthew Roy MEng Thesis July 1997
15 Design of a Composite Link for the Freedom-7 Haptic Hand Controller John McDougall MEng Thesis Nov. 1997
16 Development of a Parametric Model for Analysis of Bicycle Frames Chee Man Leung MEng Project Dec. 1997
17 A Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Glass Fibre Reinforced Epoxy Pipes Pal Aasrum MEng Thesis June 1999
18 Investigation into the Static and Fatigue Behaviour of a Helicopter Main Rotor Yoke made of Composite Materials Stephanie Lalonde MEng Thesis Jan. 2000
19 Analysis and Optimization of Adhesively Bonded Joints Adnan Golubovic MEng Thesis Mar. 2000
20 Development of a Computer Application for Optimization of Composite Material Structures Pierre Cyr MEng Thesis May 2000
21 Titanium vs Titanium/Composite Hybrid Bicycle Frames David Chung MEng Project Dec. 2000
22 Composite Bicycle Fork Design for Vacuum Asssisted Resin Transfer Moulding Marc-Andre Octeau MEng Thesis Aug. 2001
23 Finite Element Analysis of a Composite Aerodynamic Handlebar Anny Xie MEng Thesis Dec. 2001
24 Development of an Intelligent Injection System and its Application to Resin Transer Molding Jingsong Chu MEng Thesis Aug. 2003
25 Design and Development of a Carbon Fiber Bicycle Stem Using an Internal Bladder and Resin Transfer Molding Maxime Thouin MEng Thesis 2004
26 Optimal Design of a Lightweight Robotic Manipulator Using Carbon Fiber-reinforced Composites Qi Gang MEng Thesis 2004
27 Useful Application of Finite Element Analysis Techniques Alfred Aoude MEng Project 2006


PhD Theses

PhD Thesis Title Student Completed
1 Progressive Fatigue Damage Modeling of Composite Materials Mahmood Shokrieh June 1996
2 Optimization of Process Parameters to Obtain Class A Surface Finish in Resin Transer Molding Mohsan Haider August 2005

Bicycle Testing

Static Component Testing:

Using one of the two available hydraulic MTS Testing Systems, components such as seat posts, handlebars and pedal cranks can be tested for either stiffness or failure strength. Also, custom component testing can be performed for any specialized application. These testing systems are accurate devices used for applying loads to test specimens and then measuring the input load as well as the output strains and deformations. The load testing can be performed either in static or fatigue mode. This type of test is ideal for component evaluation for stiffness, strength, fatigue life, or for evaluation of repeatability and quality control for a batch of identical components.

Frame Testing:

A special frame testing machine is available for submitting bicycle frames to various loading conditions such as in-plane and torsion. The in-plane behaviour and torsional rigidity are two important factors which determine the performance of a bicycle frame. This is an ideal method for evaluating and comparing frames in a repeatable manner.

On-Road Dynamic Testing:

Using a specially designed portable data acquisition system, on-road dynamic testing can be performed. This means that bicycles can be tested under actual riding conditions. First, the bicycle is equipped with accelerometers and/or strain gauges. These transducers are wired to the data acquisition system, which fits into a small backpack. Data is stored during actual test rides and can be downloaded to a computer later.

Versatile Component Tester:

A special testing machine, based on pneumatics, is available for submitting bicycle forks and other bicycle components to various static and fatigue loading conditions. The in-plane load can be applied at any angle and can test for different applied loading conditions. Input loads can be static, sinusoidal, or quasi-impact. The device is connected to a computer-controlled data acquisition system.

Bicycle Research

Analysis Services:

Expertise exists for stress and failure analysis of advanced materials and structures. Advanced finite element software is used to evaluate components or systems that are still in the design phase. Expertise is available for design using either conventional materials or advanced composite materials such as carbon fiber or Kevlar.

Composite Materials:

Special emphasis is placed on the development of lightweight, high-tech composite structures for the bicycle industry. We have worked on several projects involving complex structures using composite materials. Four advanced bicycle frame prototypes have been produced so far as well as development projects for composite forks, stems, and handlebars.

Protoype Development:

Advanced composite manufacturing techniques are used in the development of composite prototype parts. Techniques include inner-bladder moulding, hand lay-up and resin transfer moulding (RTM). Development of protypes can be performed from start to finish, including the design, analysis, mold-making, manufacturing and testing phases.

Composite Research

Composite Testing Research

Many composite research projects require fundamental material tests. Thus, the Structures and Composites Laboratory has developed expertise in the following composite testing methods: static testing of unidirectional composite materials in longitudinal tension & compression, transverse tension & compression, in-plane and out-of-plane shear, fatigue degradation and life testing of unidirectional composites in all directions (as above), open-hole, pin-loaded and bolt-loaded composite plates, three-point bend testing, torsion testing, testing of bonded composite or composite/metallic joints, and x-ray damage detection.

Damage Modeling

Modeling Techniques

New analytic techniques are developed to predict damage initiation and growth in composite materials. The idea of progressive damage modeling is used, coupled with finite element methods. The following capabilities have been developed for failure prediction of composites:

PDHOLEC: compression progressive damage analysis of plate with openings

PDPIN: linear progressive damage analysis of composite joints

PDNLPIN: non-linear progressive damage analysis of composite joints

FAILURE: 3-D linear & non-linear progressive damage composite material analysis

FATIGUE: 3-D linear & non-linear progressive damage fatigue analysis of composites

Vibration Modeling

New capabilities are currently being developed for the analysis and optimization of composite structures. Vibration and Damping optimization techniques are used to optimize the lay-up required in the design of composite structures.

Composite Structures

Composite Structures Projects

Research into composite structures involves a number of interesting projects:

Bicycle Frame Structures and Components: Please refer to the Bicycle Research site.

Hockey Sticks: Methods to analyze and test the dynamic behaviour of carbon fiber hockey sticks have been performed. Computer simulations will help develop future generations of hockey sticks and other sports equipment. Manufacturing of hockey sticks using resin transfer molding and infusion techniques is a current topic of research.

Student Competition Projects: Composite structures have been built for several student competition projects, including solar car projects. Ra Power was the first McGill solar car project, built to compete in Sunrayce 93. Team Northern Sun was the second McGill solar car project, which completed the World Solar Challenge in Australia in 1996. Support for composite materials has been provided to various SAE projects including the Minit Baja and the Formula SAE project. For more information on student projects refer to the "Undergraduate Projects" site

Aerospace Joining Methods: An essential aspect of using composites to join parts together. Methods to analyze and test joints, both bonded and bolted, are useful for predicting failure in aerospace structures.

Composite Robots

Composite Robot Projects

Research into composite robots has resulted in one current project and two past projects.

Lightweight Robot: This project is to develope a lightweight, yet powerful and precise robot for manufacturing tasks. Carbon fiber structures will be extensively used in this project, completed in 2006.

Lightarm: Developing lighter and more agile robot structures is possible through the use of lightweight composite materials. The project was to develop a light arm for use in repairing hydro lines or for handling of hazardous materials.Work on this project was conducted in conjunction with Vincent Hayward of Electrical Engineering and MPB Technologies Inc. completed in 1998.

Freedom-7: This project involved the development of a seven-degree-of-freedom hand controller for potential surgical simulation applications. The links were improved in terms of weight, frequency response and damping capability through the use of composite materials. Work on this project was conducted in conjunction with Vincent Hayward of Electrical Engineering and MPB Technologies Inc. completed in 1998.

Current research topics and areas of interest

(Some topics may have aspects suitable for Undergraduate Projects)

  • Joining of Laminated Composite Materials and Titanium: When composite materials are made into useful structures, metallic interfaces and inserts are often required for joining with bearings and moving parts. However, not all materials are compatible with composite materials due to problems of stiffness mismatch and galvanic corrosion. Titanium is a good candidate for high-tech, fatigue-resistant, compatible joints. This project involves research into methods used to make good connections out of titanium and carbon fiber.
  • Testing Machines for Bicycles: One can always find better ways to test structures. Current capabilities include both static and fatigue testing of bicycle frames, handlebars, seat posts, stems, and forks. Testing standards are being developed in the Composites Laboratory as part of ongoing research in the design of bicycle structures.
  • Composite Bicycle Frame, Prototype #3: The design and manufacturing of an advanced carbon fiber composite racing bicycle is underway. This project begins where previous work has ended. The results of this project will lead to a lightweight, stiff and strong structure. The bicycle will have applications in professional road and track racing.
  • Design and Development of an Aerodynamic Handlebar for a Bicycle: The project involves the development of a completely new type of handlebar made from carbon fiber material. The handlebar will incorporate aerodynamics and a new method for attachment to the rest of the bicycle. The design itself involves a fairly complex shape with difficult stress concentrations and complex manufacturing techniques.
  • Development of Software for Analysis of Composite Materials: Advanced composite materials are not easy to analyze. Many finite element analysis packages do not have the necessary tools for analysis of composite materials for special cases such as fatigue loading, optimization of composites, or analysis of composite joints. There are several possibilities for developing and commercializing software based on the ongoing research in the laboratory.
  • Development of a Useful Model for Predicting Fatigue Failure of Composite Structures: Prediction of fatigue behaviour is essential to the aerospace industry, as the prediction of long-term life of components is critical. Much work has been done in the area of fatigue failure prediction. Current theories have the potential to be able to predict the fatigue behaviour of composite structures through a method known as Progressive Damage Modeling. In this method, fatigue can be followed and predicted in a logical, cycle-by-cycle fashion. Residual strength and stiffness are monitored and final failure can be predicted. At the moment, this type of modeling has been used to solve a few specific cases or classes of problems. However, aerospace requires that failure prediction methods be useful and applicable to more general cases. The goal of this project is to develop the modeling methods to a point where they will be useful additions to finite element analysis packages.
  • Automotive Application of Composites: Composite materials have great potential for use in the automotive industry. A project is underway to help develop manufacturing methods that would be suitable for making fiberglass composite parts for automobiles Emphasis is on achieving repeatability and high-quality surface finish on parts. This project is part of the AUTO-21 network.
  • Industrial Design/Natural Fibers: The beauty of carbon fiber has great potential for use in areas where high-strength and stiffness combined with light weight and aesthetic qualities can be combined to form structures. Many aspects of industrial design and architecture could benefit from the use of carbon fiber composites. New materials in the natural fiber category also have great potential for applications in these areas. A number of industrial design projects are in the preliminary design stage at this time.
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