Composites and New Materials

Cards made from my CGP GCSE AQA Resistant Materials textbook about composites and new materials.

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  • Created by: Lucy :)
  • Created on: 30-05-13 17:30


  • made from 2 or more materials
  • = can make it have more useful properties

Glass-reinforced plastic (GRP)

  • used for caar bodies + boats
  • made from glass fibres bonded with polyester resin
  • light + can be moulded but stronger than plastic
  • glass fibre available as woven fabric, matting + loose strands

Carbon fibre reinforced plastic

  • similar to GRP but instead carbon fibres are used
  • lighter, stronger + tougher than GRP
  • used for protective helmets, racing cars + bulletproof vests
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Smart materials


  • shape memory alloy
  • can be easily shaped when cool + returns to a 'remembered' shape when heated above a certain temperature
  • e.g. glasses

Thermochromic Ink

  • react to temp.
  • when temp. changes colour of product changes
  • used in babies' feeding spoons, kettles, mugs, thermometers etc...
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  • used to make self-cleaning glass for windows = glass have a coating of nanoparticles that cause dirt to break down so it can be easily washed off by rainwater
  • used to make anti-bacterial coatings - eg for toys - surfaces can be coated with a nanomaterial which contains nanoparticles that kill bacteria
  • nanomaterials can be combined with other materials = nanocomposite
  • some are worried that nanotechnology might have long-term risks; could be harmful to environment as they're really small + lightweight = carried into atmosphere + contaminate water?
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