A composite material is made from two or more materials with different chemical as well as physical properties. These materials when combined create another material with significantly great properties. The composite material also called to be composition material is used in many fields.
The kind of material consists of matrix and reinforcement. Matrix basically holds the material together. It sets up the geometry and transmits efforts from one fibre to the other. It is flexible. Reinforcement mainly provides resistance and rigidity. It strengthens the composite.
Composite materials are categorised on the basis of the reinforcement type and matrix type.
Composite Types Based On Reinforcement
1. Particulate Reiforcement Composites
This composite consists of hard particles scattered in a softer matrix. One of the examples of particulate reinforcement composites is concrete – a mixture of gravel and cement paste.
2. Flake Composites
This comprises of the blend of matrix material and thin flakes; where thin flakes are randomly dispersed in the matrix. The flakes can be aligned to obtain an ordered structure.
3. Laminated Composites
It is composed of thin elementary layers which are entirely bonded. This is mainly used in high-performance structures as the elementary layers are composites themselves.
4. Fibre Reinforced Composites
It comprises of stiff and strong fibres and matrix. Fibres possess strong characteristics and hence are primary load carrier. The matrix acts a redistribution agent which distributes the load from a broken fibre to the adjacent one.
Composite Types Based On Matrix
1. Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC)
This type consists of continuous or short fibres, held together by the organic polymer matrix. It helps to change the loads between the fibres through the matrix.
2. Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMCs)
These materials comprise carbon or ceramic fibre which is held by a ceramic matrix.
3. Metal Matrix Composite (MMCs)
This type consists of continuous carbon, ceramic or silicon carbide fibres and metallic matrix material. Due to its high strength and less density, it is preferred in the aerospace industry.
These are the types of composites that have been widely used. Starting from automobiles to the manufacturing of lifeboat, cruise and yacht, composites are preferred everywhere.