SASCOM Seminar Series - Growing Together the Saudi Arabian Society for Composite Materials

This short presentation aims at introducing the Saudi Arabian Society for Composite Materials (SASCOM) to is members and future members, so we can grow together a sustainable dynamics for composite technologies in Saudi Arabia and the region.

The Saudi Arabian Society for Composite Materials (SASCOM) aims to facilitate strong collaborations between scientists, engineers, educational and industrial partners interested in the study, manufacture and use of composite materials and structures. By providing a dynamic and high-level network of experts, we aim to contribute to increasing the societal impact of composite materials that have an important role to play in the Saudi economy.

Following this short introduction, we will overview a list of recent research direction and hot topics in composite science and engineering, that could be seeds for large scale collaborations between our members.
Extensive time will also be given to our audience to share for suggestions about potential activities of the Society, and what could be the best offering to serve their need.

About the Speaker

Pr. Gilles Lubineau is professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean for Faculty at KAUST. His laboratory focusses on Mechanics of Composites for Energy and Mobility.

Following his “aggregation” in theoretical mechanics, Pr. Lubineau earned a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from École Normale Supérieure de Cachan (ENS-Cachan), France. Before joining KAUST, Pr. Lubineau was a faculty member at the École Normale Supérieure of Cachan, and a non-resident faculty member at the École Polytechnique, France. He also served as a visiting researcher at UC-Berkeley.

His fields of research include: integrity at short and/or long-term of composite materials and structures, inverse problems for the identification of constitutive parameters, multi-scale coupling technique, nano and/or multifunctional materials. He covers a wide expertise related to most fields of composite materials, with over 200 published papers in journal spanning from material science (Advanced Materials, Macromolecules, etc..) all the way to theoretical mechanics (JMPS, CST, Scientific Reports) and applied maths (IJNME, CMAME, etc..). His work made him recipient of the Danial Valentin award for Composite Innovation.

He is also board member for various journals, including the International Journal of Damage Mechanics. Prof. Lubineau is an elected Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

By Professor Gilles Lubineau
• Chairman of the Saudi Arabian Society for Composite Material (SASCOM)
• Principle Investigator of the Mechanics of Composites for Energy and Mobility laboratory (Composites Lab) at KAUST
• Associate Dean Faculty, Physical Science and Engineering at KAUST

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SASCOM Seminar Series - Thin-Ply Composites: Towards Lighter and Multifunctional Aerospace Composite Structures

In recent years, important progress has been made in the development of composite laminates using thinner pre-impregnated plies down to about 20 micrometers instead of ~200 micrometers for traditional composites. The motivation for this trend towards the development of thin-ply composites is not only to allow the production of thinner and lighter laminates for lightweight structures, but also to provide enhanced effective design space for laminate optimization as well as improved strength and damage resistance thanks to positive size effects.

The first prime benefit of using thinner plies is the ability to optimize among a larger number of ply orientations for a given laminate thickness or to allow the manufacturing of ultra-thin laminate for example for flexible structures or skins for lightweight sandwich panels. The second benefit is that thin-ply composites present a very significant performance advantage over traditional composites due to delayed delamination and transverse cracking. Indeed, it has been shown that multi-axial laminates made of thin-ply composites can reach an ultimate strength and first ply failure close to the ultimate strain of the fiber. Thirdly, as it will be presented in this talk, thin-ply composites are also ideally suited to develop multifunctional structures that integrate electronic circuits to interconnect active components such as radio communication, sensors for IoT.

In this seminar, an overview of the mechanics of thin-ply composites will be presented to highlight the main performance advantages and drawbacks of this new class of composites [1,2]. To explain those mechanisms, a multiscale model of transverse cracking in thin-ply laminates has been developed and provides important insight on the cause of the observed experimental scaling of in-situ strength and apparent toughness of thin-ply quasi-isotropic laminates [3,4].

Applications examples on the use of thin-ply composites in aeronautic structures will be presented where a potential weight reduction up to 30% has been demonstrated compared to standard composites while reaching a similar or better production rate by using automation and optimized design for manufacturing. Finally, the use of thin-ply composites in the manufacturing of smart multifunctional structures will be presented.

Acknowledgements: the work presented in this paper is the result of several research projects funded by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI/Innosuisse), Swiss National Science foundation and HES-SO. The author would like to acknowledge the major contributions of the following people: Robin Amacher, Guillaume Frossard, Sébastien Kohler, Miguel Herraez (EPFL) & B. Giuntoli (HEIG-VD)

About the Speaker

After graduating in 2000 as a mechanical engineer with a specialty in solid mechanics, Joël Cugnoni obtained is PhD from EPFL, Switzerland in 2004 in the field of dynamic identification of the elastic properties of composite laminates. After a post-doc in the field of experimental characterization and finite element modeling of micro-electronic solder joints under the supervision of Prof. John Botsis, he became senior researcher and lecturer at the EPFL in 2008, were he focused his research on fracture mechanics of composites and multi-scale modeling of complex materials. In 2018, he was appointed associate professor at the University of Applied Sciences of Yverdon-les-Bains (HEIG-VD), Switzerland where he continues his research in composites structure and additive manufacturing.

By Professor Joël Cugnoni

  • Associate Professor, HEIG-VD, Switzerland
  • PhD in Solid Mechanics from EPHL, Switzerland

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SASCOM Seminar Series - Thermoplastic composite solutions for mass markets: Opportunities and challenges

Thermoplastic composites are increasingly being considered for large volume applications that involve replacing incumbent materials such as metals. The Consumer Electronics space in particular, offers an interesting opportunity to capitalize on the performance of fiber-reinforced composites because of the general need to go to thinner structures while being frugal with changes in weight in applications like mobile computing and communications [1]. These applications tend to lean towards a large part build volume, typically in the range of a 100k to 1 Million parts per year. The model platform also tend to be short lived, which means there is a constant need to stay on top of what the customer’s perceived needs are and adapt accordingly with new models. This makes the designed flexibility of the manufacturing line very important. All of this creates the perfect opportunity to explore automation driven production approaches. The development challenges however for this automation driven production approach were identified to be: high speed production, with minimal scrap and minimal human intervention resulting in low conversion costs, while still maintaining a high degree of flexibility.

An end-to-end automated manufacturing line in which all steps are integrated and automated into a consolidated system, thus producing a constant production flow was developed through a partnership between Airborne and SABIC. In many cases, automation technology is developed separately from material development community, yielding sub-optimal results. Here we take a holistic view and develop the most effective technology taking into account all these aspects, in material development, automation and product design. The technology developed is also suited for high-end products in other markets, such as automotive, aerospace or sporting goods.

The ultimate goal of this line is to be fully digital and designed for minimal human intervention. It features full in-line inspection of the input material as well as the finished part. This information is processed in real time allowing online process optimization to adapt the process settings on-the-fly, based on the measured data and required output quality. Ultimately, this can deliver flexibility in order to accommodate changes that the industry demands.


[1] Malnati P., Francato G., Yaldiz R., Scott D., Stanworth A. Consumer Electronics: hybrid composite cases/covers. Composites World Magazine, August 2019.

[2] Muilwijk M., Yaldiz R., Kremers M, Verghese N., Van Zyl, A., Industrialized and digital manufacturing of Thermoplastic Composites, ITHEC, November, 2018.

About the Speaker

Nikhil is a Corporate Fellow in SABIC’s Corporate Technology and Innovation organization. He splits his time between SABIC’s Corporate/Petchem SBU and Specialties SBU and is largely responsible for their strategic Polymer related activities which includes incubating new platforms, assessing key industrial partnerships and potential acquisitions, establishing critical external university relationships, new product development and finally, championing talent management.  His contributions include, but not restricted to, the development of a new platform on Advanced Composites (includes launching the new UDMAXTM continuous fiber tape product).  He spent 3 years (2015-2018) in The Netherlands where he was responsible for setting up SABIC’s Advanced Composites Center of Excellence in Geleen as well as partnerships with FRT to produce Tapes and with Airborne in The Hague for developing a first of its kind, fully automated Composite Laminate production line for high speed production. In late 2020, he accepted the additional role of Adjunct Professor at Rice University’s department of Material Science and NanoEngineering (with Prof. Ajayan).

Nikhil completed his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in Material Science and Engineering in 1999, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship, at Virginia Tech under the guidance of Prof. J. J. Lesko in Engineering Science and Mechanics.  Prior to joining SABIC in 2012, Nikhil’s industrial career spanned 12 years at The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) where he held various positions within Research and Development.  During his tenure at Dow, he was responsible for creating and launching FORTEGRATM, a new family of rubber toughening technologies for epoxy and epoxy vinylester based thermoset resins. In 2009, as Global Technology Leader, he initiated a new platform in Thermoset Composites that in 2011 resulted in the launch of VORAFORCETM, a family of Epoxy and Polyurethane formulated systems, designed to address the fabrication needs of technologies such as Ultra-Fast RTM (resin transfer molding), Filament Winding, Pultrusion and SRIM (structural reaction injection molding).

Nikhil’s publications include chapters in 4 books and over 124 peer reviewed journal papers and conference proceedings. He holds 46 filed and granted patents. Nikhil served as Chairman of the ‘Failure Analysis and Prevention Special Interest Group’ at SPE-ANTEC in 2002 and co-chaired the ‘Bonding, Joining and Finishing of Composites’ division of SPE-ACCE in 2008. In 2009, he was elected to the board for SPE’s Composites Division and was its Technical Program Chair at ANTEC in 2012 & `13. In 2014, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the PTIC (Polymer Consortium) at Texas A&M and in 2020, he was elected to the Industrial Advisory Board of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute (MII) at Virginia Tech.  He has been an invited speaker at various venues including Deformation, Yield and Fracture of Polymers (DYFP) Netherlands, SAMPE India, Rolduc Polymer Conference, APS, ACS and ACMA.

By Dr. Nikhil Verghese

  • Corporate Fellow, SABIC, USA

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SASCOM Seminar Series - Hybrid and Bio-Inspired Polymeric Composite Structures

Development in the industry always requires creation of novel materials that meet the requirement of the new designs and market. Fiber reinforced composites are recently proposed in many applications such as military, aerospace and marine structures, automotive and piping due to their strength to weight ratio, high stiffness, and decent fatigue tolerance. Despite these advantages, the low impact resistance renders its application in many critical designs and reduces its applicability in the current structures. Inspired by many biological structures in nature, bio-inspired composites have been proved to exhibit a significant improvement over conventional structures in energy absorption capacity [1]. This work will present the improvement of strength and ductility by using bio-inspired composite laminates [2]. The Impact and post-impact response of hybrid bio-inspired composite laminates will be discussed [3].


  1. San Ha, N., & Lu, G. (2020). A review of recent research on bio-inspired structures and materials for energy absorption applications. Composites Part B: Engineering, 181, 107496.
  2. Melaibari, A., Wagih, A., Basha, M., Kabeel, A. M., Lubineau, G., & Eltaher, M. A. (2021). Bio-inspired composite laminate design with improved out-of-plane strength and ductility. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 144, 106362.
  3. Basha, M., Wagih, A., Melaibari, A., Lubineau, G., Abdraboh, A. M., & Eltaher, M. A. (2022). Impact and post-impact response of lightweight CFRP/wood sandwich composites. Composite Structures, 279, 114766.

About the Speaker

Eltaher received his BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1999, and the MSc degree, and the PhD in Mechanical Design and Production Engineering in 2007 and 2012 from the Zagazig University. He got a postdoc at Waterloo university in 2014. He ranked as a highly cited researcher according to web of science in 2021. He has more than 150 articles in vibration and buckling analyses, nanomechanics, functionally graded materials, and composite structures. He joined King Abdulaziz University in 2016.

By Prof. Mohamed A. Eltaher

  • Mechanical Eng. Dept., Faculty of Engineering, KAU

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SASCOM Seminar Series - Applications of Nonmetallic Composite Materials in Oil and Gas Services: Deployment and Future Perspective

Nonmetallic Materials produced using chemicals and polymers originating from the hydrocarbon value chain are becoming increasingly important in our society. Nonmetallic materials are used to mitigate corrosion in oil and gas facilities, which are mostly made of carbon steel and prone to corrosion due to exposure to common oil field fluids, H2S, CO2, and even microorganisms. The usage of nonmetallic products in Saudi Aramco has increased significantly in recent years as a result of the benefits of this material in corrosion prevention, speedier installations, and life cycle cost reductions. Apart from the traditional nonmetallic applications in water and low pressure services, which began in the 1970s, we have now successfully installed almost 10,000 km of pipes in a variety of applications. 

Nonmetallic materials in replacing incumbent material systems, their features, and essential components that need to be looked into for wider and augmented penetration will be discussed in this talk. We’ll also discuss the growth of cutting-edge materials like carbon fiber, their potential uses, and work required to promote adoption

About the Speaker

Anwar Parvez is currently working as the Lead SME and Vice Chairman of SA Nonmetallic Standard Committee under Nonmetallic Engineering Division at Saudi Aramco. Anwar spent nearly 20 years in the field as a Consultant, R&D and Project engineer in various companies. He also boasts significant international experience while working in several countries including Canada, Bangladesh, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Anwar worked as a nonmetallic technical lead in numerous multi-billion dollar O&G projects while involved in deployment of nonmetallic technologies in onshore, offshore and downhole. He led and contributed to numerous R&D projects including composite pipe development, automotive engine block and helicopter landing gear materials optimization. Results oriented leader with a proven track record of attaining complex project objectives through innovation, new application development and sustainable process development. Conceived and drove the creation of several new nonmetallic technology/applications while his work supported in the creation of new business ventures and rapid organic growth of composite product manufacturers.

Anwar received his Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh. He completed two Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering with emphasis on Polymer and Plastic Engineering from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Metal Matrix Composite from Concordia University, Canada. He has published more than 50 technical papers in International Journals, Conferences and Media Outlets. He is a voting member in selected API and ISO Standard Committee, and technical advisory member of Nonmetallic Innovation Center, UK and technical committee member in IOGP nonmetallic stream. Anwar served as Chairman and Vice Chairman for nonmetallic stream in several Middle East NACE and AWS Conferences. He is a recipient of Saudi Aramco’s President Excellence Award and received Excellence In Nonmetallic Technology Award by NACE Dhahran Saudi Arabia.

By Eng. Parvez Md Anwar

  •  Engineering Specialist – Saudi Aramco

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SASCOM Seminar Series - 3D printed composites: Current development and future trend

Recently, new 3D printers that can print continuous fiber composites have been commercially available. This presentation shows recent development of 3D printed composites and current trend of 3D printed composite products. This presentation includes research results in the laboratory of Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, such as evaluations of strength of 3D printed composites in various orientations, fiber twisting effect during printing, fiber placement optimizations, self-sensing of 3D printed composites, 3D printing simulation, novel snap-in joints, and novel concentric twin nozzle 3D printer developed in Tokyo Institute of Technology. The presentation will show the future trend of 3D printed composites.

An example of 3D printing simulation using MPS (moving particle semi-implicit) method

About the Speaker

Prof. Akira Todoroki has been a faculty (assistant, associate, full professor) at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, since 1988. He previously worked as a researcher in Nagoya Aircraft Work, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, in 1986-1988. He also served as a visiting researcher in the University of Florida, USA (1995-1996). He was also invited to KAUST in 2013 to give a talk in CEMAM (Computational and Experimental Mechanics of Advanced Materials), an international workshop organized by Prof. Gilles Lubineau. He received his bachelor, master, and Ph.D. degrees from Tokyo Institute of Technology. He has been a fellow member of Japan Society of Composite Materials (JSCM), Japan Society of Materials Science (JSMS), and Japan Reinforced Plastics Society (JRPS). His research interests include 3D printed composites, self-sensing composites, and optimizations of composite structures.

He won prestigious awards since he started his academic career. In 1989, he won JSME Young Engineers Award from Japan Society of Mechanical Engineering. In 2000, he won the renowned “Hayashi Award” from Japan Society of Composite Materials, the highest recognition for the researchers working on composite materials in Japan. In the same year, he also won JSMS Young Engineers Award in 29th FRP Symposium. He also won awards from various institutions and societies, including Best Paper Award from High Pressure Institute of Japan (2021), JSCM Best Paper Awards (2007, 2011, 2014, 2021), JRPS Best Paper Awards (2004, 2005, 2012), JSMS Best Paper Awards (2005, 2006, 2007), Computational Mechanics Achievement Award from JSME (2006), Best Paper Award in the 8th Korea-Japan Joint Symposium on Composite Materials (2011), Award of Achievement (2010) and Best Paper Award (2019) from SAMPE Japan, Best Paper Award from American Society for Composites (2013), and Best Paper Award from JSASS (Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Science).

By Prof. Akira Todoroki

  •  Professor Mechanical Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan)

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SASCOM Seminar Series - Carbon Nanostructures of Oil Fly Ash as Reinforcements for Different Polymers

Polymer nanocomposites are promising for application in various products. However, effective additives as mechanical reinforcements at a low cost are needed. From the other hand, oil fly ash, which is hugely available in Saudi Arabia and other countries might solve this issue. This material is produced as a biproduct due to the use of crude/heavy oil as a fuel in power and desalination plants. The majority of such fly ash consists of unburned carbon, which can make up 80-95 wt% of the ash. A considerable part of these carbons has graphitic structures. This oil fly ash in its nano and micro structures is found to be quite suitable for its use as a mechanical reinforcement. Among such structures, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) derived oil fly ash were found to have attractive structural and mechanical properties. These CNTs were evaluated as reinforcements for different thermoplastics like high-density polyethylene, polycarbonate, polypropylene, and polystyrene. Significant enhancement in the mechanical properties at a low weight fraction mainly the tensile strength, Young’s modulus, stiffness, and hardness, were observed. The other form of oil fly ash is nanoparticles, produced in our lab was evaluated for high-performance epoxy matrix system. The obtained results showed significant enhancement in the stiffness of the nanocomposite material by 60% over that of the pure epoxy matrix system. These results might be useful to recommend oil fly ash at its nano and micro structure for different polymers.


About the Speaker

Numan Salah is a Professor at the Center of Nanotechnology and a group leader at KAU (Carbon Nanostructures). He has a Ph.D. degree is in Physics and his research interest includes nanomaterials (synthesis, characterization, application) like carbon nanostructures, optical and thermoelectric nanomaterials produced by different techniques for different applications mainly Dosimetry, Energy, Water. Authored/co-authored > 145 research papers and has > 10 US patents. Teaching some courses in the Nuclear Engineering Dept. and supervision of research programs, Guiding PhD students and mentoring Post Doc Fellows.

By Dr. Numan Salah

  • Professor at the Center of Nanotechnology, KAU

Recording Link

SASCOM Courses - Composites delamination: modelling and characterisation

DAY 1: January, 25th, 2022

Lecture 1:

  • Introduction to delamination
  • Modelling interface cracks:
    • crack propagation modes
    • traction-separation behaviour
    • initiation, propagation, cohesive length
    • limit case: linear elastic fracture mechanics

Lecture 2:

  • Linear elastic fracture mechanics:
    • hypotheses and derivation
    • strain energy release rate and dissipated energy
    • stable and unstable crack propagation
  • Illustration: modelling the Double Cantilever Beam (DCB) test

Optional homework:

post-treatment of DCB test data according to ASTM standard

DAY 2: February, 1st, 2022

Lecture 3: 

  • Characterisation tests for composites delamination
    • DCB test standard (homework correction)
    • Mode II standards: 3- and 4- point End Notched Flexure (ENF)
    • Mixed mode standards: Mixed Mode Bending (MMB)
    • limitations

Lecture 4:

  • Characterisation tests for adhesives debonding
    • Climbing Drum Peel (CDP) test for sandwich debonding
    • Peel tests
    • Other testing configurations


About the Speaker

Federica Daghia is Associate Professor (Maître de Conférences HDR) at the École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, in France. She earned her PhD in 2008 from the University of Bologna, in Italy, and her Habilitation in 2016 from École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, in France. Between 2016 and 2021, she was member of the French National Committee for Scientific Research (CoNRS) – Mechanics Section. Since 2016, she is Secretary of the French Society for Composites Materials (AMAC).

Her research interest involve the physics-based modeling of damage and failure of composite and architectured materials, from experimental characterisation to numerical simulation.

By Dr. Federica Daghia

  • École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, France

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