Modernising composite materials regulations: A position paper

Robert Stevens, Simon Quinn, Robert Veal, Simon Gerrard, Michael Tsimplis, Janice Dulieu-Barton, Ole Thomsen

Research output: Working paperWorking paper and Preprints


One of the major inhibitors to the uptake of
composites in new sectors is that regulations,
codes and standards are often inappropriate
for composites. This is because they are both
explicitly and implicitly based on named
materials, such as steel, and do not permit
consideration of composites applications
despite the strengths and benefits of the
materials in many cases.
This review provides important evidence
supporting the primary aim of the RCS Working Group, as expressed in the 2016 CLF Composites
Strategy, to work with regulators and standards
bodies to adapt regulations to enable (greater)
use of composites. Through this collaboration,
the University of Southampton study helps CLF
achieve the benefits that will arise from greater
use of composites through, for example, increased
durability and design flexibility, and lightweighting.
A lack of appropriate codes and standards is
recognised as a key barrier to the uptake of
composite materials across many sectors.
Composites UK fully supports a performancebased
approach to standards where proof of a
material?s fit for purpose is tested. This report
highlights where this approach is utilised and has
enabled the use of new and innovative materials,
as well as traditional ones, to the benefit and
progression of the sector. Applying this approach
across other sectors can only bring benefit to
those industries and UK PLC.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
PublisherUniversity of Southampton
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

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