Composite Materials

  • Created by: Isie_34
  • Created on: 24-04-19 15:04


A composite material is formed by combining any combination of other materials to make a new one with superior quatlities. 

Stainless steel: Combines strength, malleability and low cost of steel with the hardness and corrosion resistance of chrome.

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Fibre reinforced composites

Good strenght to weight ratio

good corrosion resistance

Resistant to changes in varying temperatures

Good fatigue resistance

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Fibre reinforced polymers (FRP)

Plastics have useful strength and rigidity with lightweight and good electrical insulation properties

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Glass reinforced plastic (GRP)

Strong lightweight material

Much cheaper than carbon fibre

Mainly stronger and lighter than most metals

Can be made into many shapes

Used for; boats, baths, pools, water tanks, surfboards.

Fibreglass is coated and soaked in resin, polyester resin, vinylester or sometimes thermoplastic

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Carbon fibre matting

Very high strength to weight ratio

Extremely rigid although somewhat brittle

Carbon fibres mixed with epoxy

The fibre glass weave is soaked in liquid plastic and pressed or heated until the material fuses together

Used for; bicycle frames, fishing rods, shoe soles, baseball bats, high end sports vehicles

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Mixture of aromatic and aramid (nylon like) molecules

There are melted and spun into fibres

5 times stronger than steel and half the density of fibreglass

Made into a cloth and woven into clothing or other products

High strength to weight ratio

Low electrical conductivity

High chemical resistance

High toughness

High cut resistance 

Flame resistant and self extinguishing 

Used for; Body armour, sporting gear, motorcycle clothing, run flat tires

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Particle based composites

High strength in compression

Good stability

Uniform structure including consistent strength

Generally free from surface defects

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Water, aggregatem sand and cement

Often reinforced with steel rods

Very good with compression loads i.e. Building structures

Bad when used as a rod along a distance

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Combines high temperature resistance of ceramics with the flexibility and electrical conductivity of metal

Tungston carbide: Common cermet used to make tools

Cermets are made through sintering

Resistant to high temps

Tough and shock resistant

Brittle, high melting point

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Sheet based: Laminated glass

Safety glass on car windscreens to prevent shards glass injuring people when shattered

Held together with a interlayer by polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA)

Creates a spider wen effect when the glass is shattered

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Bulletproof glass

Constructed using polycarbonate, thermoplastics and layers of laminated glass

Aim is to make a material with the appearance and clarity of standard glass but with effective protection from small arms

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Man made

Engineering wood or man made wood includes a range of wood products manufactured through binding, fixing strands, particles, fibres, or veneers or boards of wood together with adhesives or other means of joining such as compression

These boards can be combined with materials such as melamine coverings to make them hard wearing and water proof

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