Composite Materials Lab

The Composite Materials Laboratory engages in the design, manufacture, and experimental evaluation of polymer matrix composite materials applied mainly in structural applications. 

Key Faculty:

Recent Research Projects:

  • Development and characterization of advanced fiber and particle reinforced polymer composites for flywheel energy storage systems, self-sensing structures, and adaptive structures with variable shape and stiffness
  • Characterization of mechanical and durability characteristics of composites for civil, mechanical, and aerospace applications
  • Development of lightweight vehicular structures with integral energy storage

Manufacturing Facilities:

  • Programmable 4-axis filament winder with a 78-in. carriage and 15-in. cross-feed
  • Programmable 25 and 50 ton hot presses with 850°F maximum temperature
  • Resin transfer molding mix/pump station with 1-146:1 mix ratio and 54-362 cc/cycle pump rate
  • Pultrusion line with a 32-spool creel
  • Horizontal braiding machine with 36 bobbin carriers
  • Two-roll mill
  • Prepreg layup room with environmental control
  • Composite cutting tools and machine shop
  • Walk-in and chest freezers
  • Ultrasonic and magnetic mixing systems
  • Chemical hood
  • Multiple curing ovens
  • Access to a 3´7 ft. autoclave with 750°F maximum temperature capability

Testing Equipment:

  • 3- and 5-kip servo-hydraulic load frames
  • 60-kip screw-driven load frame
  • Two 12-kip creep frames with 550°F ovens
  • Split Hopkinson pressure bar setup
  • Contact and non-contact strain measurement systems
  • Digital data acquisition systems
  • 10-50´ optical microscope
  • 150´ long-distance microscope
  • Hydraulic jacks to 100 kip
  • Multiple environmental conditioning chambers
  • Pneumatically driven sled for crash simulation
  • High-range electrical current measurement systems and voltage generation systems
  • Cryogenic testing chamber
  • Flywheel spin test chamber
  • Access to higher force and torque testing systems


The Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) is an internationally distinguished department that is recognized for its globally competitive excellence in engineering and scientific accomplishments, research, and educational leadership.

Our Engineering Science program is the official undergraduate honors program of the College of Engineering, attracting the University’s brightest engineering students. We also offer graduate degrees in ESM, engineering mechanics, engineering at the nano-scale, and an integrated undergraduate/graduate program.

Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics

212 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4523