Composite materials are formed by two or more components so that the properties of the final material are better than the properties of the components separately.
This kind of materials consist of:
Depending on the type of matrix there are:
Regarding reinforcements, there are different types of them, such as carbon fibres, glass fibres, aramid fibres, natural fibres, etc.
The most used ones because of their lightness and excellent mechanical properties, are composite materials of polymeric matrix with fibre reinforcements. These materials replace others (mainly metallic ones) in those applications in which the mechanical properties-weight relation influences decisively the maintenance costs of the product.
Organic matrices can be thermoplastic, thermosetting or elastomers.
Thermosetting matrices or resins are the most used in high-performance composite materials. These resins result in a solid, insoluble and unmeltable product by a series of chemical reactions known as curing or cross-linking. In contrast, the thermoplastic ones melt when exposed to heat.
The main fibres used as reinforcements are:
Regardless of the type of material they are made of, fibres can appear in form of roving, mats, or fabrics.
Another type of products that are incorporated into the composite material fibre-resin is fillers and additives. They are added with the aim of providing particular characteristics to the material or reducing its cost.
The number of added products varies depending on the properties we want to achieve. The general aim is to improve processability and the finished product.
Structural composite materials can be classified as follows:
AIMPLAS has a broad experience in long-fibre composites materials working in different projects to obtain high-added value composites products or to improve the production process.