Composite Material – Types and Usage

What is a composite material?

As the word itself tells us, this composite material is nothing but a material which is made from either 2 or more than 2 constituent materials that happen to have diverse chemical or physical properties which when combined in general comes up with a material that has the characteristics a bit different when compared to the individual components. However, these individual components shall remain separate apart from being distinct within a finished structure.

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In addition to this, a composite material is also known as composition material or even is at times shortened to just composite. And this word composite, is stated to be the common name. The new material which comes up to being quite useful. The best examples of this one can be those materials which are not only lighter but also stronger or even less expensive when it is compared to the traditional materials.  As far as the researchers are concerned then they are already checking out the ways to have the following aspects included as composites – (1) sensing (2) computation (3) actuation (4) communication. These are known as robotic materials.

What are typical engineered composite materials?

The typical engineered composite materials are mentioned here – mortars / concrete / metal composites / reinforced plastics like that of the fiber – reinforced polymer / ceramic composites such as the composite ceramic & the metal matrices.

Where are composite materials used?

As far as the usage of this composite materials are concerned then they are put in to use for buildings or structures namely boat hulls / race car bodies / shower stalls / imitation granite / swimming pool panels / bathtubs / cultured marble sinks / storage tanks / countertops. On the other hand, if the advanced examples are to be considered then these composite materials can be seen to be used quite often than not on not only the spacecraft but also the aircraft especially in the demanding environment.

Constituent materials

Essentially all the composites are made up of the individual materials which are stated to be the constituent materials. And the 2 main categories of these constituent materials are matrix & reinforcement. As for the matrix material they support as well as surround the reinforcement materials & this is done by just maintaining relative positions. Whereas the reinforcements impart special mechanical along with physical properties in order to enhance matrix properties.

When the talk is about the principal factors which impact methodology, then chosen matrix & the reinforcement materials’ natures are considered. However, there is another factor which is included in the list & it is the gross quantity of material which is to be produced.

Polymer matrix

Composites which are commercially produced make use of the polymer matrix material & this material is usually known as the resin solution. Most commonly known polymers are epoxy, polyester, polyimide, vinyl ester, PEEK, polyamide, polypropylene among others. Furthermore, Martin Hubbe as well as Luciam A Lucia stated wood to be one of the natural composite of the cellulose fibres that too in a matrix of lignin.

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