The matrix binds the fiber reinforcement, gives the composite component its shape and determines its surface quality. A composite matrix may be a polymer, ceramic, metal or carbon. Here’s a guide to selection.
Designers of composite parts can choose from a huge variety of fiber reinforcements and resin systems. That makes knowledge of how those materials work together a critically important aspect of part development. Here's a short description of what that knowledge entails.
Fibers used to reinforce composites are supplied directly by fiber manufacturers and indirectly by converters in a number of different forms, which vary depending on the application. Here's a guide to what's available.
The structural properties of composite materials are derived primarily from the fiber reinforcement. Fiber types, their manufacture, their uses and the end-market applications in which they find most use are described.
High strength at low weight remain the winning combination that propels composite materials into new arenas, but other properties are equally important. This article outlines the case for composites and introduces SourceBook's overview of the materials and processes used to make them.
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.