Weight reduction is a key factor in the development of materials and components for use in many industries. Lightweight structures are widely used for this purpose. However, these structures present challenges: they need to be light but also safe, durable and easy to maintain. How can this be done?

This course provides an introduction to lightweight structures, starting with the "trinity" - the interaction between shape design, base material, and manufacturing. The evidence gained from both successes and failures demonstrates that the interaction between these three elements is crucial for successful designs and end products.

The course covers the design principles of lightweight structures; durability and fatigue; testing; manufacturing methods and mechanics. The main focus is on structures made with composites but the use of metals will be addressed as well.

This course is for practicing engineers and managers in industries and engineering disciplines who are involved in the design process of lightweight structures or components. It will also act as a valuable refresher course for experienced engineers.

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Know what design choices you have to make for different requirements
  • Understand how lightweight composites affect your choices with regards to structural layouts
  • Analyze the conditions required to categorize a design as a lightweight design
  • Identify various types of materials (including carbon, glass, aramid, Dyneema fibers, thermoplastic and thermoset polymers, and more)
  • Distinguish composites from metals on a micro and macro scale
  • Determine typical strong and weak points in the performance of lightweight structures
  • Examine fiber morphologies
  • Be able to explain the parameters and their relationships, which play a role in the development of lightweight structures and components
  • Understand the correlation between fiber content, orientation control, fiber length, manufacturing process and application
  • Familiarize yourself with unwanted stress distributions in composite materials
Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated March 11, 2019
This course is Online
Start Date
7 weeks
750 EUR
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End Date
Nov 30, 2019
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