Explanation Of Components And Classification Of Composite Materials

Composite materials have a profound place in engineering and high-tech applications. They have a very important place in the engineering material world. In general, composite materials consist two of phases or components inside them. One of these phases is the ‘matrix’ that gives the general shape and bulk of composite material. Matrix materials in composites can be metals, ceramics, or polymers. The other component in composite materials is called as ‘secondary phase’ or ‘reinforcement phase’ that is added to the matrix to give reinforcement. With this reinforcement, composite materials have their superior properties.

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Explanation of fiber and matrix compounds in composites(Src:Romeorim).

Types Of Composites

Composite materials are classified according to their matrix compound. But their reinforcing phase can be metals, polymers, or ceramics again. Bur composites are defined according to their matrix compound;

  • Ceramic Matrix Composites(CMC): This category of composites is not common in composites. Ceramics are not used commonly in composites as matrix materials. Silicon carbide and aluminum oxide are the most important examples of this group. Concrete is another important example of this group that reinforcement is generally done with steel rebars.
  • Metal Matrix Composites(MMC): In this group of composites, ceramics are generally used as a reinforcing phase in metals. Cemented carbides are the most important example in this category.
  • Polymer Matrix Composites(PMC): In aerospace, this kind of composite is used generally. Thermoset resins are most widely used as a matrix in this category. Fiber reinforcements are generally used as a secondary phase. Epoxies and polyesters are the most known examples of this group.

The Embedded or reinforcement phase can be hidden inside the matrix phase in composite materials. But they have a very important duty. The matrix phase generally transmits the external loading on that reinforcement phase. So composite materials can withstand types of loadings that matrix can not withstand by itself.


This is the general explanation of composite phases and the classification of composite materials.

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