Faculty of Engineering

Development and manufacturing of sustainable composite materials

A key focus of this programme is to increase sustainability of composite materials, their manufacturing processes and the products made with them, and ultimately, the businesses that use them.

The international market for composite materials is rapidly growing due to their use in the air, land and sea transport industries as well as packaging, medical applications, physical infrastructure and sporting equipment.



Key focus areas/issues

This programme has five inter-related technical objectives:

  1. Polymer composites using nano- and/or micro- reinforcements with emphasis on biomedical applications.
  2. Advanced manufacturing processes to reduce cost and energy usage.
  3. Enhanced durability of products and structures.
  4. Development and evaluation of functional composites with fire retardant and self-healing attributes.
  5. Design of sustainable composite systems and product development using natural renewable resources, incorporating life cycle analysis of composite components and processes.

Current major developments

  • A novel technique has been developed to produce single polymer composites using our fibrillar composites manufacturing technology.
  • Hollow sandwich panels have been manufactured and tested using core geometry optimisation methodology developed at the Centre for Advanced Composite Materials.
  • Natural fibre reinforcement has been successfully used in rotational moulding of foamed products and the technology has been patented for market release. Super strong (and stiff) biodegradable composites, reinforced by flax, have been produced using a novel technique we have developed.
  • A novel binding technique using waste polymers has been developed and patented.

Key people

  • Debes Bhattacharyya 
    Centre for Advanced Composite Materials
  • Richard Lin 
    Centre for Advanced Composite Materials
  • Simon Bickerton 
    Mechanical Engineering
  • Xun Xu 
    Mechanical Engineering


Stephen Flint
Auckland UniServices
Email: s.flint@auckland.ac.nz 
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 extn 84989


Related publications

The following publications are from previous relevant research:

Banerjee S., Battley M. and Bhattacharyya D. Shear strength optimisation of reinforced honeycomb core materials, Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures, 2010, in press

Jayaraman, K. and Xu, X.W. 'Life cycle assessment of products made of composite materials', Int. J. Product Lifecycle Management, 2009, Vol. 4, Nos. 1/2/3, p11-22.

Lim, S., Liu, J., Jayaraman, K. 'Extrusion and Evaluation of Saw Dust-Recovered HDPE Composite Bars', Advanced Materials Research, 2009, 79-82, p299-302.

Jayaraman, K., Halliwell, R.W. 'Harakeke (phormium tenax) fibre-waste plastics blend composites processed by screwless extrusion', Composites Part B-Engineering, 2009, 40, p645-649.

Xu, X.W., Jayaraman, K. 'An image-processing system for the measurement of the dimensions of natural fibre cross-section', International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2009, 34, (2), p115-121.

Banerjee S., Yan W. and Bhattacharyya D.. Modelling of heat transfer in Rotational Moulding, Polymer Engineering and Science, 2008, 48(11), 2188-2197.

Shields, R. J., Bhattacharyya, D., Fakirov, S., Fibrillar polymer-polymer composites: morphology, properties and applications, Journal of Materials Science, 2008, Volume 43, Number 20, pp 6758-6770.