Composites

Advanced composites are innovative materials being used to a much greater extent in the 21st century than ever before. These materials are lighter, stronger, and more versatile and are being used in a variety of industries.

Fiberglass is still the most used composite, but because carbon fiber is much stronger by weight, it is being used more and more, especially in the aerospace industry. Carbon fiber is ten times stronger than steel by weight. This makes carbon fiber very attractive when designing fuel-efficient or higher-speed aircraft or automobiles. As cost goes down, composites, with their light weight and durability will become even more attractive in the sporting goods and others industries.

Utah’s composite industry is one of the largest in the nation with new and existing companies expanding in the Utah area. These companies require more trained technicians. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development is actively involved in promoting Utah’s composite industry by bringing together the aerospace, defense, and recreational industries as well as educational institutions to form partnerships that will fuel continued growth.

Trained technicians capable of working with composite materials are in great demand. Ogden-Weber Tech is helping to meet the demand for skilled workers by providing students with a broad-based knowledge of advanced composites. Our program prepares students with hands-on training for a variety of technical jobs available in the composite field. Our program has well-equipped training labs containing equipment, materials, and training resources supported by industry.

Our training focuses on both learning the basics and providing the fundamental training within a hands-on environment which provides the needed skills to move into the advanced composite workplace. Areas of focus are developing composite lay-up skills, composite vacuum bagging training, lean manufacturing training, developing communication skills, tool making, blueprint reading, repair, and testing and inspection both in destructive and nondestructive inspection, etc. Each course provides simple and clear training for the person seeking the technical skills needed to enter the aerospace or any other industry using advanced composites. Most trained technicians learn by doing. Each of our courses are designed to help our students become competent in the advanced composite industry.

Program Information

Estimated Monthly Cost
$243

Estimated Total Cost
Includes tuition, fees, books, and supplies
$1,607

Estimated High School Cost
$70

Average Wage
$39,550

Completion Time
6-12 months (670 hours)

Campus Location(s)
Main Campus

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Additional Information

Courses currently offered are: Introduction to Advanced Composites, Lean Manufacturing and Communication Skills, Tool Making and Design, Blueprint Reading, Advanced Composite Projects, Composites Repair 1 and 2, Testing and Inspection,(NDI,DT,QA), Fabric Cutting ,Laser placement, and Kitting, 3-D Parametric Solid Modeling, Filament Winding and Fiber Placement, Infusion, Environmental Composite Repair. Our focus is not only one of having students learn basic theory, but also in providing practical hands-on training needed to move into the advanced composite workplace. These courses provide simple and clear training for the person seeking the technical skills needed to enter the aerospace aircraft or any industry using advanced composites.   Areas of training will involve:

  • proper procedures and handling and working with composites,
  • roles the of both matrix(binder), and reinforcement used in composites,
  • formulations of matrices and reinforcements,
  • learning the strengths and weaknesses of composites,
  • gaining knowledge in the different types of composites and how each can be constructed to provide greater strength and durability to a part,
  • how composites work and what materials are needed to build and finish parts,
  • different manufacturing methods in working composites,
  • different core materials and how they function,
  • learning to, work with “out of autoclave” tools and parts,
  • learning methods to detect damage within parts,
  • learning infusion techniques,
  • learning the basics in NDI and may be expanded beyond the basics.
Making the decision to enroll in the Composite Program here at the Ogden-Weber Applied Technical College has been the best decision I’ve made in the last seven years. I was formally enrolled at a four year traditional college as a Aerospace Engineer Undergraduate and feel that I have accumulated more knowledge in the aerospace industry through the Composites Program at the OWATC. The hands-on training, the leading training method, has better prepared me for the challenges that lie ahead working in the aerospace industry, specifically for composite manufacturing. I would trade the two years I spent at the traditional college for the hands-on learning experience I had in the Composites Program at the OWATC. Thank you to all my instructors at the OWATC for helping me better my future!

- Adam Wright

Employer Advisory Team
  • Air Force Research Laboratory
  • ATK
  • ENVE Composites
  • Excelis, Inc.
  • ITT Fiber Science
  • Kihomac
  • Rock West Composites
  • TCR Composites

Program Instructors

Jim Hatch

Jim Hatch

Jim Hatch has helped design, develop, and test two major building systems and also has developed a home recreation system (H.R.S.). Part of the design and development of the building systems included working with the mining industry, where research has gone beyond design to encompass material testing. Mr. Hatch has been involved in the testing of a variety of materials such as: Class A & C fly ash, potash, glass centipheres, light weight cements, cellulose fibers, phanolic resins, aerated foams, composites materials such as Fiberloc, Dicillion 1000, Dicillion 2000, carbon fiber, and honeycomb materials. Testing included material set times, manufacturing purposes, compression and fire resistance tests (both short and long term), determining densities, and formulating different types of composite materials. Mr. Hatch has done research work with the following companies: U.S. Army, Hewlett Packard, Sandia Corporation, Sylvania, Texas Interment, PolyOne, Geon Plastics, University of North Dakota, Bemus Manufacturing, Dicillion LLC, and TS Industries LLC.

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

hatchj@owatc.edu
801-395-3788

Taylor Foss

Taylor Foss

Taylor Foss has a Bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering with a plastic and composite emphasis. His background and experience is primarily in the sporting goods industry where he has worked in warranty, identifying defects in composites and evaluated the cause and severity of the damage in addition to inspecting and qualifying incoming materials for quality and use in production. He also performed inspection and quality assurance of completed products. Taylor has also worked in advanced composites manufacturing where he built a variety of bicycle components out of pre-preg carbon fiber. He has experience in layup of carbon fiber, vacuum bagging, resin infusion, co-bonding, secondary bonding, mechanical fasteners, CNC router trimming/cutting operation and tool making.

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

fosst@owatc.edu
801-395-3752