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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Composites Lab

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Composites Lab

Engineering Projects Lab

The Composites Lab, used for classroom instruction, independent study, and senior design projects, is fully equipped for wet-lay-up processing and vacuum bagging of fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs). It also includes an injection-molding machine. Students can create a variety of composites from wet lay-ups and vacuum bagging using carbon, Kevlar, and E-glass. Molds are made from metal, wood, composites, and plaster.


The lab space and equipment provide opportunities for the AET Formula car senior design team to manufacture custom parts, including intake and exhaust manifolds, seats, engine components, and more.


Students in the AET 378 (Composites Manufacturing) course use the lab for all their experimentation. Some of the experiments include

  1.  Impact testing of different resins
  2. Wet lay of FRPs
  3.  Vacuum bagging of FRPs
  4. Understanding the effect of orientation of fibers on the mechanical behavior of composites
  5.  Analyzing the effect of core materials on the Young’s modulus of composites


The lab inventory includes

  1.  Izod testing machine
  2. General purpose polyester resin with MEKP catalyst
  3. General purpose and high temperature epoxy with hardener
  4. Fabrics of E-Glass, Kevlar and carbon fiber
  5. Vacuum bagging sheet
  6. Peel ply
  7. Breather and bleeder material
  8. Vacuum pump
  9. 12 outlets for vacuum bagging
  10. Belt sander
  11. Reciprocating saw
  12. Low temperature furnace
  13. Honeycombs, balsa, and plywood for sandwich structures