Put two or more different materials together, and you get a hybrid, more solid result. In simple terms, the process would need one or more plastics and then reinforce these materials with carbon fibers. This process is why composite materials have been replacing many conventional ones in different industries for many years. They’re now used widely in various applications, from home renovation in natural-looking synthetic fences to the automobile industry.
A Wide Application in Different Industries
Car manufacturing is the best example. In this industry, many manufacturers prefer composite materials. They can tailor materials to just about any part they want, are resistant to corrosion, lightweight, and have many other positive attributes. And it’s not just the automotive industry that has seen the considerable role composites play. Telecommunication, utilities, consumer-end products, construction, electrical, and sports and recreation industries are all looking toward the future with composite materials.
Fiberglass in polyester resin is a pride in the composites’ family. They’re easily customizable and have good mechanical properties that dominate the construction and corrosion equipment industries. Developers will have to adjust the fiber and resin (composite materials) that are combined to get their desired outcome.
As discovered, composites will now have to replace the conventional ones because, generally, they are more durable, more lightweight, and more pliable. Compared to their traditional counterparts, composites have become a superior choice. Let’s explore the roles of composites in the following sectors:
Aerospace relies on innovative materials to improve aircraft performance. In particular, they look for materials that can enhance the lift-to-weight ratio which conventional metals might achieve. By pouring resin or epoxy into the base material, designers can customize aircraft parts into various shapes and significantly reduce the weight.
Many aircraft and spacecraft such as hot air balloon gondolas, gliders, space shuttle, fighter planes, and passenger airliners rely heavily on composites. They have special manufacturing requirements that only fiber-reinforced polymer composites can achieve.
Although aircraft manufacturers use composites at a smaller percentage than other materials, you find them in the aircraft’s most sophisticated and delicate parts. Manufacturers today create rackets, nacelles, single-aisle and wide-body wings, engine blades, propellers or rotors, and interiors from composites. This process essentially reduces weight while also improving aircraft robustness.
Automotive manufacturers look for reducing the cost and weight of their products and increasing their recyclability. Composite materials offer these advantages compared to injection-molded automotive parts and traditional steel. While steel is inexpensive and sturdy, composites have proved to exceed steel’s performance. Composite materials have also met many other demands of the automotive industry and fared better.
Composite materials create hardly corroding vehicles despite dry and wet conditions. Composites also allow quieter performance as they muffle sounds, improve heat conduction, survive everyday life, and, most importantly, reduce production costs. As a result, current vehicle generations are more reliable, safer, and cost-effective for manufacturers and drivers.
Wood will rot and smell, metals will rust, and brick and concrete will eventually chip away. These reasons show the construction industry now prefers composite materials over traditional ones. Composites resist water, which means they don’t rot or rust. Where contractors and construction firms find limitations in conventional materials, composites make up for cost and reliability.
The construction industry must deal with temperature changes, but composite materials don’t quickly expand or contract. Composites make good insulators for any electrical purposes too. Since manufacturers design composites with durability in mind, firms and contractors alike widely use composites in fencing, window frames and panels, gratings, roofing, stairways, sinks and showers, and more.
Telecommunication and Utilities
Both utility and telecommunication industries are rapidly shifting toward composite materials, especially for poles and crossarms. Certain remote areas have trouble accessing utilities, which may be due to various instances. Often, termites, woodpeckers, and ants damage wood poles. Wood poles might not be too stable in challenging terrain. Or wood poles might be too sensitive to damage overall.
Composite materials prove to be very handy to install, most especially after or during catastrophic events such as ice storms, hurricanes, extreme weather, and other natural disasters. The utility industry has embraced composite poles, recognizing their massive advantage over concrete, steel, or wood. And they are still looking for more ways to apply composite poles, not just replacing existing structures and poles.
Green Composite Materials
It turns out that composite materials don’t do good just to the industries. Some plant-based composite materials also advance the fight against global warming as manufacturers create more sustainable materials to care for the environment. Embracing green composites can reduce manufactured fiber plastic production by balancing the use of natural and synthetic materials.
Composite materials are changing the way many industries produce goods and services. Not only are composites stronger than their traditional forebears, but they’re also cheaper, more durable, and safer for the environment. It’s safe to say, composite materials pave the way for the future.