The course will provide you with an introduction to the toughening of polymer matrices (thermoplastic and thermosetting resin systems). The course will introduce you to the mechanical behaviour of polymeric materials and present the theories related to toughening of polymers.

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In addition, test procedures to measure toughness and yield strength of polymers will be presented and demonstrated. Analysis of the results requires application of fracture mechanics and the necessary information will be presented to allow simple calculations. Although the toughening will focus on the introduction of a soft rubbery phase into the polymer matrix, other routes to toughening will be presented (interpenetrating networks and nanoparticle toughening)

Cranfield University Composites Centre (Enhanced Composites and Structures Centre) has more than 20 years of experience of research, development and teaching across composites materials, composites manufacture, process control and material/structure performance. The centre currently delivers to an international audience of postgraduate students and industrial clients (Airbus, AkzoNobel, Bentley, Bombardier, Hexcel, McLaren, Rolls-Royce, Safran, Scott Bader, RedBull, Petronas, etc). The centre has unique materials processing, compounding, filament making, nanomaterials production and composites characterisation facilities. We are able to deliver bespoke training courses covering a broad range of composites related topics, via online or in-person attendance.

At a glance

Core content

Day 1

  • Introduction to polymer resins and their mechanical properties.

  • Shear yielding in polymers and toughening mechanisms.

  • Mechanical testing of polymers – strength, stiffness and toughness.

  • Laboratory demonstration and workshop.


Day 2

  • Routes to modifying polymer resins – predominantly improving toughness.

  • Theories on polymer toughening and applied case studies.

  • Application of toughened resins to fibre reinforced polymer composites.

  • Laboratory class demonstrations (DCB/ILSS).

  • Review of course and discussions.


Who should attend

Design, manufacturing and materials engineers who work with polymers and composite materials and have an interest in improving product durability, functionality and serviceability.




Cranfield alumni will receive a discount of 20%.

Where three delegates or more are booking from within one site or one organisation, a discount of 10% will apply to the invoice for the course tuition fee. Accommodation fees are not included in the discount scheme. Please ask about our discount scheme at time of booking.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road 
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.