The world of composite materials might seem complicated since there are so many different ways that a matrix can be combined with a reinforcement material. Still, this basic idea of combining two different materials to create a third one that is entirely new is relatively simple.
It is also a rather old idea since you’d have to go back to ancient history to find out when human beings first blended two materials of different properties to create a new material that exhibited properties that neither of the original materials contained.
Nonetheless, suppose this basic idea of how a composite material works still seems baffling to you. In that case, some examples of real-world composites that you’re probably already familiar with should help to clarify the issue.
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The history of composite manufacturing stretches back in time, at least to ancient Egypt, when people realized that straw could be added to clay in the manufacturing of bricks. Because straw is good at staying intact when stretched, it acts as a reinforcement material to the clay matrix of the brick. The process yielded stronger bricks, and a composite material was born.
Bricks made of straw and clay are a good example because they provide a good illustration of how so many other composites are made – at least in basic terms. For example, you’re probably familiar with fibreglass since it is commonly used to construct boats and sporting equipment.
You may not realize that fibreglass is a composite material created with extremely fine glass fibres that are used as a reinforcement material when added to a polymer, which acts as a matrix. The more accurate and descriptive name for fibreglass is fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) because of how it is made.
Carbon Fibre, or Graphite Fibre
As in the previous two examples, carbon fibre filaments are used as a reinforcement material when added to a polymer matrix. The majority of the carbon fibre products you are likely familiar with are made this way, even though that material is usually only referred to as carbon fibre.
If you’re currently manufacturing a product and suspect that the addition of carbon fibre could improve your design, you get in touch with someone from one of the carbon fiber composite companies in your area to learn how they can help you reach your goals.
Why Create a Composite Material?
In each of these examples, the purpose of creating the final product is to manufacture a new material that exhibits dramatically improved properties. Many of the more recently developed composite materials have various benefits. For example, some of the advantages of carbon fibre reinforced polymers include:
- High Tensile Strength
- High-temperature Tolerance
- High Chemical Resistance
- Excellent Strength to Weight Ratio
- Low Thermal Expansion
Get in contact with a composite manufacturer to learn about other kinds of new composite materials and how they might benefit any consumer goods you may be developing.