A composite material is quite simply a material made by combining two or more different materials. Composite solutions have at least two materials in their structure. Some composites may contain more than ten “ingredients” too. All in all, the general idea behind this mixture is to actually ensure that the respective materials remain distinct and work to complement each other. The primary purpose of such modern solutions is to enhance various materials. Oftentimes, composite materials are able to enhance the advantages of two separate materials, while minimizing their weaknesses. At first glance, composites look like alloys, which are created in a similar manner. However, they are different. In alloys, you can no longer differentiate one ingredient from another.
Becoming familiar with how composites are classified
Understanding the classification criteria of composites is the first step in choosing the perfect material for your application needs. Normally, one of the components is used as reinforcement. Therefore, the most common classification is made by this reinforcement. Its main purpose is to strengthen the material and maintain its firmness.
Popularity is yet another common classification criteria, yet it is not official. Some composite materials are simply more popular than others, whether it comes to short fiber, long fiber, particulate, flake or filler reinforcement. Making an informed decision asks for a little education too, so do your homework upfront. Besides, double check your necessities. Are you working in the construction industry? Are you an automotive tuner? Do you deal with frangible ammunition?
What makes fiberglass such a popular composite?
Fiberglass is a very common composite utilized in a series of industries, whether it is used in construction, automotive or tool production fields. Fiberglass is ostensibly an amalgam of small glass shards that you may not necessarily see so easily. The respective shards are held together by some resin. Of course, resin is often mixed with all kinds of chemicals in order to enhance its properties. When used in the automotive industry, fiberglass is great for body kits. It is waterproof, extremely lightweight and easy to mold. This option is more common in small parts, like bumpers. Full fiberglass cars are rare, but more common in the racing world.
Concrete is the go-to composite choice for strength and durability
Concrete is currently one of the strongest composites on the market today. It is made of water, aggregates and cement. It grabs the beneficial properties of all these materials and eliminates their negative physical properties. Therefore, concrete is stronger than any of its material components taken separately. Concrete is very handy in large scale construction tasks. For instance, it makes a great option for road constructions, as well as buildings.
The great thing about composite materials is that the possibilities are almost limitless. New ideas and innovations show up almost daily. Some of them are specifically intended to help particular industries, while others have broader applications. Take your time and research your necessities before making a selection.