Information about the module

The module "FVW Structures" teaches the fundamentals of the design and calculation of structures made of fiber composites. This knowledge is of importance for all structures made of fiber-reinforced composites, not only from the field of aerospace technology, but also automotive and wind energy technology as well as general mechanical engineering through to leisure products, such as sporting goods.

General data about the module 
Study program

M.Sc. Aerospace Engineering

Module number 10651
Trimester Winter trimester (4th Master trimester)
Work load

150h total, thereof

          48h presence time

          102h self-study


2 TWS lecture

2 TWS excercise

Qualification goals
  1. The students know the individual components of fiber composites and their properties. They know how these material components interact in the composite.
  2. The students understand the behavior of orthotropic and anisotropic materials, they can assess the failure of such materials based on various fracture criteria.
  3. Students will be able to computationally determine the properties of laminates of any design and evaluate their properties with respect to structures to be designed.
  4. Students will know the strengths, but also the weaknesses of fiber composite material when used in load-bearing structures.
  5. The students know how structures can be made from fiber composites and which production-dependent properties must be taken into account.



In the module FVW Structures, students receive introductory knowledge about the behavior and calculation of structures made of fiber reinforced composites (FVW). The focus is on the introduction to the classical laminate theory as well as applicable failure hypotheses. Notes on the analysis of fiber composite structures by means of analytical and numerical (FE) methods as well as on structural design and manufacturing round off the module. The FVW Structures module is divided into the following sections:

  • Materials: fiber materials, matrix materials
  • Unidirectional layer (UD layer): Properties of UD layer, material law of UD layer, matrix shrinkage and moisture absorption
  • Multilayer composites (classical laminate theory): Transformation of the UD layer, material law of the layered plate, calculation of stresses in the individual layers, shear stresses due to shear force of the layered plate
  • Failure criteria: Maximum stress, maximum strain, failure criteria of Hoffmann, Tsai-Wu, Puck
  • Calculation of FVW structures: design and optimization of laminates, rod-like elements, 3D laminate theory, force application (bolts, loops, bonding)
    Information on manufacturing
  • Information on scatter of test data, fatigue and damage tolerance, and aircraft verification philosophies


Dr.-Ing. Pablo Vitale

Dr.-Ing. Pablo Vitale

Research associate
Gebäude 37, Zimmer 1109
+49 (0)89 6004-5611