New Composites Assembly Lab Ready for Students

By on August 23, 2011
Composites Assembly Lab

Here are some photos of the new Composites Assembly Lab at the St. Louis Aerospace Institute.

In the composite assembly lab, before they begin handling materials, students learn how finished composites are tested for structural integrity in a non-destructive environment and what types of machining methods are used on the finished materials as well as a variety of aerospace type fasters and metals that are commonly used with composite materials.

Then students learn to machine and drill composite materials correctly alone and in conjunction with other materials. They gain an understanding of sealants and liquid shim and the correct application of both.

Our new Composites Assembly lab reflects the state of the industry in regard to dust collection and design and gives the students the ability to learn skills that allows them to walk into a shop environment prepared to work.


The Center for Workforce Innovation (CWI) is located in a 32,000 square foot building adjacent to the St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley Campus. CWI houses the six labs of the new St. Louis Aerospace Institute; a large equipment lab; three technical training labs (Programmable Logic Controllers, Industrial Maintenance Training, and Green Technologies and Sustainable Construction); three all-purpose classrooms; a computer lab; conference room; and a federally funded open to the public Cyber Café.

About Joanne Fountain

Joanne teaches Composites Fabrication and Assembly for the Aerospace Institute at St. Louis Community College. She began in the composites industry over 25 years ago as a lab tech performing destructive mechanical tests on composite laminates then moved on to research the embedment of fiber optics to create smart skins. She is well versed in a wide variety of composites manufacturing methods and continues to stay abreast of new trends in the technology.

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