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What to consider when machining and joining composite materials

Topic: What to consider when machining and joining composite materials

Presenter and author: Dr. Rik Heslehurst, Director, Heslehurst and Associates P/L

Key words: Composites, joining practices, machining


This interactive presentation will discuss the important and advisory topics to be considered when preparing composites materials for joining processes, painting and machining activities.  Composite materials, because they are heterogeneous and laminated, require special consideration when undertaking post-fabrication (add-on) processes. Each aspect will be considered and discussed with very much welcome engagement from the audience.  You may consider this presentation an open forum on the topic.

Presenter’s resume

Rik Heslehurst has worked in the composites and adhesive bonding industry for more than 35 years.  He started his career as an aeronautical engineering officer in the RAAF with postings as an F/A-18 airworthiness engineer, and Officer In-Charge of the RAAF Materials and Process Engineering.   More recently Rik retired as an academic with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) at the Australian Defence Force Academy where he lectured and conducted research in aircraft and airframe design and composite and bonded structures design and analysis.  Rik now runs his own consulting business and provides engineering and technical support for the fabricators association – Composites Australia.   Rik is also the Senior Engineer for two US companies.   Rik also consults for several organisations; including Raytheon, NASA, USAF, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Bombardier, Walt Disney Imagineering, and several other companies.  Rik obtained his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from the RMIT and his PhD from UNSW. Rik has been presenting courses and seminars around the world on the subject of composites and joint technologies.