Ghent University

Street: Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25
Zip-Code: B-9000
City: Gent
Website: www.ugent.be

Long Description:

The composite materials research group at Ghent University in Belgium is lead by Prof. Joris DEGRIECK and Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM. The priary field or research is the mechanics of structural composites, in a combined approach of instrumented experimental testing and advanced finite element modelling. The group counts 5 postdoctoral researchers and about 20 PhD students. Every year, 15 to 20 engineering students do their master thesis in the group. Over the last 5 years, the group acquired 41 projects. The main industrial application areas are: 

  • composites for aerospace (bird strike, fatigue, health monitoring, fusion bonded joints)
  • composites for wind and wave energy (wave impact, design of wave energy converters, wind turbine blades, damage detection, cure monitoring)
  • composites for automotive industriy (hybrid composites, crushing, energy absorption, adhesive and hybrid joints, fatigue, short fibre composites, 3D woven thermoplastic composites)
  • composites for sports applications (sailing masts, racing bicycles)

More information on www.composites.ugent.be

Products + Services:

  • Mechanical testing
  • Impact
  • Fatigue
  • Monitoring
  • Finite element simulations

Value-Added Steps

Product Design
Process Simulation
Materials & Auxiliaries
Joining & Assembly Techniques
Surface Technology
Training & Education


Wind Energy
Wind Energy
Automotive Construction
Automotive Construction
Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Marine Systems
Marine Systems

Competence Description:

There are 4 main lines of research:

  • impact of composites, where impact ranges from bird strike, over classical drop weight impact and crushing, to wave impact and blast loading,
  • fatigue of composites is studied in different loading regimens (tension, compression, bending, shear) and monitoring and simulation tools are developed,
  • NDT/NDE is focused on optical fibre sensing and ultrasound inspection. Further, microtomography, scanning electron microscopy and Digital Image Correlation are used,
  • general mechanics of composites is always about structural composites, but the topics are very diverse: self-healing, steel fibre-reinforced composites, micro-mesomacro-scale homogenization methods, joining technologies, structural membranes,...

In all these areas, strong expertise is available in advanced finite element modelling (cohesive zone modelling, damage mechanics, Smoothed Particly Hydrodynamics (SPH), eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM), parallel computing (HPC cluster), multiphysics simulations (coupling with air, water, ultrasound).


  • Structural composites
  • Advanced finite elements method
  • Impact
  • Fatigue