As you know that, composite materials are the one of four group of engineering and manufacturing materials. We think that composites are the most interesting materials. Because they have very distinct properties and the technology of composites materials are the most rapidly developing one around conventional materials such as metals, ceramics and polymers. In here, you can find out the general information about composite materials, their general characteristics, and advantages/disadvantages of composite materials.
What Is Composite Material?
Actually, the most distinct characteristic of composite materials is hiden its name. Thw word of ‘composite’ probably derived from action is called ‘composing’. Yes, composite materials are the composition of different materials that has different properties, in different phases. Different properties of these different phases of different materials, show superior physical and mechanical properties compared with conventional materials, when they are combined as composite materials.
At the end of this passage, you will understand that also some of materials that are explained in conventional material groups are composite materials. For example, tungten carbides can be count as composite material because it includes cemented carbide phase. Also some thermoplastic polymers that includes additives and fillers can be said as composite materials. Fillers inside the thermoplastics are in different phase from main matrix polymer material. You know that elastomers that are combined with carbon black are also composite materials.
What Are The Advantages Of Composite Materials?
- In general, mechanical and physical properties that are not attainable with metals, ceramics and polymers, can be attained with the composition of different materials.
- Toughness, fatigue properties of composite materials are superior than conventional materials.
- Generally composite materials are more stiff and strong and light in weight compared with other engineering materials. This property of composites makes them the best material group in terms of strength to weight ratio.
- Corrosion characteristics of composite materials is much more better than other materials.
- Better surface characteristics and smoothness properties of composite materials are achievable compared with other materials such as metals.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Composite Materials?
After reading of advantages of composite materials above, you can probably think that ‘We must use composites in every application!’. But situation is not like that… Take a look at the disadvantages of composites.
- Polymer based composites are prone to chemical attacks which is not desirable in such applications.
- Shaping processes for composite materials are costly, so this makes the composite materials are expensive for such applications.
- Also production of composites is also expensive generally. High technology of production techniques needed to be used to produce composites.
- This can the greatest drawback of composite materials that, the properties that are obtained by composing different materials in different phases, differ according to the direction that they are measured. For example, in each direction of loadings, composite materials do not show same strength characteristics.
It can be an interesting information about composites that the most known natural composite material is wood. If you thnik about the structure of wood, it has specially designed inner stucture to show different properties to maintain a tree’s life.
General properties of composite materials can be summarized like above. Do not forget to leave your comments and questions about composite materials and their general characteristics below.
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