Composites Fabrication Lab Offers Real-World Skills Experiences

By on August 25, 2011
Composites Fabrication Lab Offers Real-World Skills Experiences

Composites fabrication is a critical process for the aerospace industry. Check out these photos of the new Composites Fabrication Lab at the St. Louis Aerospace Institute.

Before students work in the lab they spend time learning about the various uses of composites in aerospace as well as a variety of other industries. How to handle them safely, and the differences between various fibers and matrices.

Here students gain an understanding of different types of prepreg and fiber orientation and learn to cut carbon fiber and epoxy prepregs. Then they learn to do a variety of manual lay ups on shapes most commonly found in the aerospace industry and cure their parts.

The Composites Fabrication lab is designed to be like a clean room in industry so students understand how to work with raw composite materials without introducing foreign material and causing damage to the finished product.


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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