George, Andrew Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Strong, Brent Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
- Polymer–matrix composites
- Manufacturing methods
- Nonpolymeric composites
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Two or more materials that have better properties when combined than the single components have by themselves. Although the term composite encompasses materials ranging from concrete to nacre in mollusk shells, the emphasis here is on the many composite materials that consist of a reinforcement and a matrix—a combination of high-strength fibers (the reinforcement) surrounded by a polymeric resin (the matrix). The fibers by themselves are easily damaged, but incorporating them within a matrix provides protection from damage and solvents, holds them in place, and transfers loads to the fibers resulting in high tensile and compression strength. Other related, reinforced composite materials employ a matrix of metals or ceramics when temperature, strength, or some other requirement precludes the use of polymers.
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