Composite Materials
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Composites are combinations of two more separate materials on a microscopic level, in a controlled manner to give desired properties. The properties of a composite will be different from those of the constituents in isolation.
When two materials are combined together to form a composite, one of the materials will be in Reinforcing phase and the other material will be in Matrix phase. Typically, reinforcing material in the form of fibres, sheets or particles are strong with low densities while the matrix is usually a ductile or tough material.

Eg.: Glass Reinforcing material

Polyester Matrix material

Glass + Polyester GRP (Glass fibre reinforced plastic)

Composites can be broadly classified in to two groups. They are,

1. Natural composites

2. Man-made composites

Several natural materials can be grouped under natural composites.

Eg.: Bone, Wood etc.,

Man-made composites are produced by combining two or more materials in definite proportions under controlled conditions.


1. Mud mixed straw to produce stronger mud mortar and bricks.

2. Ferro-cement

3. Concrete and RCC

4. Plywood, Chipboards, Decorative laminates

5. Asbestos Cement Sheets

6. Reinforced Glass

7. Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP)
Carbon Composites

Properties of Composites

1. Composites posses excellent strength and stiffness

2. They are very light materials

3. They possess high resistance to corrosion, chemicals and other weathering agents.

4. They can be moulded to any shape and size with required mechanical properties in different directions.

Disadvantages of composites

1. High production cost

2. Difficult to repair

3. Susceptible to damage

Uses of composite materials

1. Extensively used in space technology
and production of commercial air-planes.

2. Used in the production of sport goods.

3. Used for general industrial and engineering structures

4. Used in high speed and fuel efficient transport vehicles

Applications in the field of Civil Engineering

Composites are extensively used in the field of Civil Engineering. Ferro-cement is a good example for composite. R.C.C. and P.S.C. (Pre-stressed Cement Concrete) are composites that are widely used for structural components. Even concrete can be considered as a composite. Block boards, Batten boards, and Chip boards which are composites are used in light construction works such as doors, windows, furniture and cabinets. Asbestos Cement Sheets are used as roofing material. Reinforced glass is used for sky-lights and door and window paneling.
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17-07-2013, 04:11 PM

Composite Material

.ppt   Composite Material.ppt (Size: 1.49 MB / Downloads: 120)

What is a composite Material?

A broad definition of composite is: Two or more chemically distinct materials which when combined have improved properties over the individual materials. Composites could be natural or synthetic.
Wood is a good example of a natural composite, combination of cellulose fiber and lignin. The cellulose fiber provides strength and the lignin is the "glue" that bonds and stabilizes the fiber.
Bamboo is a very efficient wood composite structure. The components are cellulose and lignin, as in all other wood, however bamboo is hollow. This results in a very light yet stiff structure. Composite fishing poles and golf club shafts copy this natural design.

Composites – Polymer Matrix

Reinforcing fibers

Glass – most common and the least expensive, high strength, low stiffness and high density. GFRP consists 30-60% glass fibers by volume.
– more expensive than glass fibers, but lower density and higher stiffness with high strength. The composite is called carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP).

Composites – Ceramic Matrix

Ceramic matrix composites (CMC) are used in applications where resistance to high temperature and corrosive environment is desired. CMCs are strong and stiff but they lack toughness (ductility)
Matrix materials are usually silicon carbide, silicon nitride and aluminum oxide, and mullite (compound of aluminum, silicon and oxygen). They retain their strength up to 3000 oF.

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