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The University of Southampton

Modernising Composite Materials Regulations

Position paper launch
Position paper launch

An extension to the original work on Modernising Composite Regulations has been completed in 2019, to produce case studies for delivery of 'performance' based qualification of advanced composite material structures used in the rail infrastructure (with AECOM) and marine sectors (with Lloyd's Register) in accordance with existing regulations. The flowchart of the procedure, narrative and case studies provide a 'discussion document' for feedback and updates as required. Their intention is to highlight the involvement of the key stakeholders in the approval process and indicate potential blockers/bottlenecks and possibilities to streamline the process, or reduce the timescales. Feedback is encouraged and welcomed.

Downloadable copies of the two case studies are available below:

Marine case studyRail infrastructure case study

Our multi-disciplinary team of experts have researched the existing regulatory systems for the introduction and use of advanced polymer composite materials across industrial sectors.

This has resulted in the publication of a ‘position paper’ for government and industry that is the first comparative study of its kind and underpins the need for an alternative regulatory approach.

The findings of this report are supported by a number of leading organisations, including the Composites Leadership Forum and Composites UK.

Our position on ‘Modernising Composite Regulations’ identifies the issues surrounding the regulation of composite materials in different industry sectors, as a major inhibitor to the uptake of composites in the more traditional manufacturing sectors.

It also proposes a way of modernising the current regulations to enable industry to migrate from current systems of assurance, that are based on material ‘equivalence’ to the more effective ‘performance’ based system.

This would harmonise the regulatory regime for composite materials across all the sectors and have a catalytic effect on the manufacture of composites in the UK.

A launch event for this paper was held at the Royal Academy of Engineering on Monday 24 April 2017. The event included a short discussion on the issues and identified a future process to achieve a more flexible and efficient regulatory system.

Front cover of Position Paper

Position Paper

A downloadable copy of the full report is available to read here

Download now

Project Members

Rear Admiral Rob Stevens, CB, Managing Director, Stevens Marine Ltd

Professor Simon Quinn

Mr Robert Veal

Dr Simon Gerrard

Professor Michael Tsimplis

Professor Janice Dulieu-Barton

Professor Ole Thomsen


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