Composite Materials Systems - Classification and Qualification

Home Background Qualification Scheme Classification Scheme Quality Control Protocols and Acceptance Outputs and Downloads Links

The purpose of developing a qualification scheme is to identify the stages in the process of design and installation where material properties are involved.

The qualification scheme for stiffness/strengthening applications consists of 15 steps ranging from initial material selection through to final inspection checks. The flowchart depicting the qualification scheme details the 15 individual steps in the scheme that provide guidance on test methods, their interpretation and acceptance criteria. A report detailing a variety of Case Studies is provided so that the user can understand how the Qualification Scheme approach is applied to a strengthening application. This Case Studies Report can also be downloaded from the Outputs and Downloads page.

The following terminology is used for the various parties involved in the application:

Designer – corporate or individual charged by the Client to perform the design
Contractor – organisation responsible for the installation of the reinforcement who employs the Supervisor and Installer
Client Representative – on-site representative of the Client (often has Inspectors working for him) responsible for approval
Engineer – appointed by the Client (often the Designer) who acts as a neutral party in case of disputes between the Contractor and Client.


Qualification scheme Classification scheme (input / outputs)
1. Step Qualification scheme Classification scheme (input / outputs)  
2. Design conditions Determine strengthening loading type and environment
3. Initial testing and investigation QC tests on substrate
4. Material selection - Generic Assign ‘classified’ material system based on loading type and environment
Assign partial factors relevant to material system selected
Assign characteristic values to detailed design
5. Partial factors
6. Design calculations
7. Design conformance checks

Define QC tests and acceptance criteria that relate to the specific materials system
8. Preparation of Specification
9. Material selection - Specific
10. Preparation of Method Statement
11 Site activities, prior to installation QC conformance checks
12. Surface preparation of substrate QC tests and QA checks
13. Application of Composite Materials System
14. Final QA checks, inspection and approval
Remedial works
Acceptance criteria failure

Principal qualification steps and classification inputs/outputs


Qualification Scheme