The Composites Research Group (CRG) at the University of Waterloo, directed by Professor John Montesano, consists of a dynamic team of dedicated researchers. Applied and fundamental research is conducted in many areas related to high-performance lightweight composite materials and structures, including processing of fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP), assessing multi-scale material constitutive behaviour, fracture and damage mechanics, impact and crashworthiness, fatigue and long-term durability. Our research is applicable in many sectors, including automotive, aerospace and wind energy.
The need to improve fuel efficiency, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and lower operational cost is the main motivation to reduce the weight of primary load-bearing structures in various industrial sectors. The main challenge lies in simultaneously improving the performance of these lightweight structures. Composite materials have been used for decades due to several key advantages, including their high performance-to-weight characteristics, inherent damage tolerability, and the ability to tailor their properties for specific applications. Due to the recent development of new material systems and the integration of composites into new structural applications, the community has seen a surge of research activity. Improving our understanding of the complex failure processes of composite materials and the ability to develop tools to predict this behaviour are critical for optimizing corresponding structures, which is at the forefront of our research activities.