A research institute specializing in Materials Science

Composites Research Division

Department of Functional Composites

Head of Department
Lee, Sang-bok

Department Introduction

The importance of functional composites are increasing with the interests to Industry 4.0. The Functional Composites Department has been developing functionally integrated materials and nano-micro hybrid materials to overcome current limitations of multifunctional composite materials. Developments including following topics are underway both in fundamental and applied aspects: electromagnetic wave absorbing/shielding composites, structural/functional metal matrix composites, energy storage smart structural composites, and data driven functional composite materials design and analysis.


Major Activities

14 SCI/SCIE & 4 journal papers published, 5 domestic patents applied/granted
New research project “Development of nanofiber composite materials”
1 technology exchange and 24 technical services about composite materials
Hosted 6th Composites Research Division Workshop (Dec 12, 2017)

Major Research Area

Synthesis of functionalized nano-micro reinforcements
Functional resin and high performance fiber/textile technology
Multifunctional composite technology (electromagnetic wave shielding/absorption, stealth, conductivity, heat sink/thermal shock, bulletproof/energy absorption, thermal stability, neutron shielding/absorption)
Fabrication and application technology for high performance metal matrix composites
Energy and smart structural composites
Data driven functional composite materials design and analysis

Future Research Plan

  • Design of electromagnetic wave absorbing materials based on electromagnetic characteristics database and development of intelligent process technology
  • Development of Radar Absorbing Materials (RAM) & integrated process with carbon fiber composite body for stealth fighter applications
  • Development of neutron shielding aluminum composite material for spent fuel transportation/storage system
  • Development of 3D printing metal matrix composite for Industry 4.0
  • Development of high strength/radiation nano fiber and composite materials for aerospace applications
  • Development of energy storage polymer electrolyte and high strength/flexible electrode materials

Major R&D Activities

Nano/Micro hybrid reinforced Metal Matrix Composites


  • Development of lightweight metal matrix composite with excellent structural properties (stiffness/strength) and functional properties (conductivity, thermal stability, oxidation resistance) based on the design of composite properties, nano/micro hybridization, interface control, and unique casting process, low-pressure liquid pressing.

[Developments & Achievements]

  • SiC tile encapsulated impact resistance/high elasticity aluminum composites (Up to 27% improvement in bulletproof efficiency compared with RHA)
  • Fe based metal matrix composites for high temperature structural materials (mass change: < 0.2mg/cm2@700oC, 50h)
  • Development of neutron absorbing B4C-Al composites based on stir casting and liquid pressing process
  • Development of high electrical conductivity, low temperature coefficient of resistance CNT-Cu composites (95% IACS, TCR: 1451ppm/k)
  • 6 SCI/SCIE published, 5 domestic patents applied/granted
SiC tile encapsulated AI MMC bulletproof module
TiC-Fe composites for high temperature structural materials
Neutron absorbing B4C-AI composites

Energy Storage Structural Composites


  • Development of smart composites generated by a two-phase system in which one phase is selected to provide mechanical properties and the second phase is selected to maximize energy storage properties.

[Developments & Achievements]

  • Structural electrolyte blending with electrolyte and the incorporation of inorganic nanofillers (ionic conductivity >10-3 S/cm, Young’s modulus >800 MPa at r. t.)
  • Development of a supercapacitor based on hybrid structural electrolyte (42 F/g)
  • 2 SCI/SCIE published
Energy Storage Structural Composites Concept
Development of Supercapacitor Based on Energy Storage Structural Electrolyte
Multi-Functionality Plot

Electromagnetic Wave Shielding/Absorbing Composites


  • Development of thin-light-broadband electromagnetic (EM) shielding/absorbing composites that solves the EM problems (stealth, electromagnetic interference) in ~ GHz frequency range by developing multi-functional hybrids coated with magnetic metals on Carbon/Inorganic materials.

[Developments & Achievements]

  • Development of world's first Fe-based magnetic metal coated glass/carbon fiber and EM shielding composites (Shielding Effectiveness 100 dB @ 0.5 mm)
  • Development of graphene surface magnetic particle coating technology without noble catalyst and EM absorbing composites
  • Development of radar absorbing prepreg composites compatible with Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) by co-curing method (Interlaminar shear strength > 35MPa)
  • 2 SCI/SCIE published, 1 domestic patents applied
Magnetic metal coated
glass/carbon fiber&fabric
Catalyst-free graphene/magnetic particle
composite&EM absorbing property
RAM/CFRP co-cured composite &
excellent interfacial bonding