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Mechanical Engineering Dept.

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. The ancient Egyptians manufactured composites! Adobe bricks are a good example. The combination of mud and straw forms a composite that is stronger than either the mud or the straw by itself.

Mechanical Engineering Dept.

Composites
Composites are combinations of two materials in which one of the material is called the reinforcing phase, is in the form of fibers, sheets, or particles, and is embedded in the other material called the matrix phase.

Typically, reinforcing materials are strong with low densities while the matrix is usually a ductile or tough material. If the composite is designed and fabricated correctly, it combines the strength of the reinforcement with the toughness of the matrix to achieve a combination of desirable properties not available in any single conventional material.

Components of composite materials Reinforcement: fibers


Glass Carbon Organic Boron Ceramic Metallic

Matrix materials
Polymers Metals Ceramics

Interface
Bonding surface

Ken Youssefi

Mechanical Engineering Dept.

Classification of Composites
Engineered Composites

Particulate
Fibrous Random orientation

Preferred Orientation

Single Layer Multi-Layer

Continuous & Long Fibres Uni Directional Bi Directional

Discontinuous & Short Fibres Random Orientation

Laminates Preferred Orientation

Hybrid Laminates

Matrix Materials
Fibres and whiskers in composites are held together by a binder known as matrix. This is required since fibres by themselves: Given their small crosssectional area, cannot be directly loaded. Further, they cannot transmit load between themselves. This limitation is addressed by embedding fibres in a matrix material. Matrix material serves several functions, the important ones being: Binds fibres together. Transfers loads and stresses within the composite structure. Support the overall structure Protects the composite from incursion of external agents such as humidity, chemicals, etc. Protects fibres from damage due to handling.

Matrix material strongly influences composites overall transverse modulus, shear properties, and compression properties. Matrix material also significantly limits a composites maximum permissible operating temperature. Most of the matrix materials are relatively lighter, more compliant, and weaker visvis fibres and whiskers. However, the combination of fibres/whiskers and matrix can be very stiff, very strong, and yet very light. Thus most of modern composites have very high specific strengths, i.e. Very high strength/density ratios. This makes them very useful in aerospace applications, where weight minimization is a key design consideration.

Choosing the Right Matrix Materials


While selecting matrix material for a composite system, several considerations have to be factored into, principal ones being: Physical properties such a specific gravity. Mechanical properties such as modulus, strength, CTE, conductivity, etc. Melting of curing temperature for the matrix material Viscosity: It strongly affects processing attributes of the composite, and also uniform flow of matrix material into the composite system. Reactivity with fibres: One would certainly not desire possibility of chemical reactions between fibres and matrix material. Fabrication process compatible with matrix and fibres Reactivity with ambient environment Cost

Classification of Matrix Materials

Thermoset Materials

Thermoplastics

These three types of matrixes produce three common types of composites.

1. Polymer matrix composites (PMCs), of which GRP is the best-known example, use ceramic fibers in a plastic matrix.
2. Metal-matrix composites (MMCs) typically use silicon carbide fibers embedded in a matrix made from an alloy of aluminum and magnesium, but other matrix materials such as titanium, copper, and iron are increasingly being used. Typical applications of MMCs include bicycles, golf clubs, and missile guidance systems; an MMC made from siliconcarbide fibers in a titanium matrix is currently being developed for use as the skin (fuselage material) of the US National Aerospace Plane.

3. Ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs) are the third major type and examples include silicon carbide fibers fixed in a matrix made from a borosilicate glass. The ceramic matrix makes them particularly suitable for use in lightweight, high-temperature components, such as parts for airplane jet engines.

Reinforcements

Common Categories of Composite Materials based on fibre length:

Short-fibre reinforced composites

Long- fibre reinforced composites

Particulate Composites

Filler Composites

Flake Composites

Composites Polymer Matrix


Polymer matrix composites (PMC) and fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) are referred to as Reinforced Plastics. Common fibers used are glass (GFRP), graphite (CFRP), boron, and aramids (Kevlar). These fibers have high specific strength (strength-to-weight ratio) and specific stiffness (stiffness-to-weight ratio)

Matrix materials are usually thermoplastics or thermosets; polyester, epoxy (80% of reinforced plastics), fluorocarbon, silicon, phenolic.
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Composites Metal Matrix


The metal matrix composites offer higher modulus of elasticity, ductility, and resistance to elevated temperature than polymer matrix composites. But, they are heavier and more difficult to process.

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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. Fiber materials used commonly are carbon and aluminum oxide. Applications are in jet and automobile engines, deep-see mining, cutting tools, dies and pressure vessels.

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Application of Composites
Lance Armstrongs 2-lb. Trek bike, 2004 Tour de France

Pedestrian bridge in Denmark, 130 feet long (1997)

Swedish Navy, Stealth (2005)

Ken Youssefi

Mechanical Engineering Dept.

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Ken Youssefi

Mechanical Engineering Dept.

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Advantages of Composites
Higher Specific Strength (strength-to-weight ratio) Composites have a higher specific strength than many other materials. A distinct advantage of composites over other materials is the ability to use many combinations of resins and reinforcements, and therefore custom tailor the mechanical and physical properties of a structure.

The lowest properties for each material are associated with simple manufacturing processes and material forms (e.g. spray lay-up glass fibre), and the higher properties are associated with higher technology manufacture (e.g. autoclave moulding of unidirectional Ken Youssefi 20 glass fibre), the aerospace industry.Mechanical Engineering Dept.

Advantages of Composites
Design flexibility Composites have an advantage over other materials because they can be molded into complex shapes at relatively low cost. This gives designers the freedom to create any shape or configuration. Boats are a good example of the success of composites. Corrosion Resistance

Composites products provide long-term resistance to severe chemical and temperature environments. Composites are the material of choice for outdoor exposure, chemical handling applications, and severe environment service.

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Advantages of Composites
Low Relative Investment One reason the composites industry has been successful is because of the low relative investment in setting-up a composites manufacturing facility. This has resulted in many creative and innovative companies in the field.

Durability Composite products and structures have an exceedingly long life span. Coupled with low maintenance requirements, the longevity of composites is a benefit in critical applications. In a half-century of composites development, well-designed composite structures have yet to wear out.

In 1947 the U.S. Coast Guard built a series of forty-foot patrol boats, using polyester resin and glass fiber. These boats were used until the early 1970s when they were taken out of service because the design was outdated. Extensive testing was done on the laminates after decommissioning, and it was found that only 2-3% of the original strength was lost after twenty-five years of hard service.
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Application of Composites in Aircraft Industry

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Disadvantages of Composites
Composites are heterogeneous properties in composites vary from point to point in the material. Most engineering structural materials are homogeneous.

Composites are highly anisotropic


The strength in composites vary as the direction along which we measure changes (most engineering structural materials are isotropic). As a result, all other properties such as, stiffness, thermal expansion, thermal and electrical conductivity and creep resistance are also anisotropic. The relationship between stress and strain (force and deformation) is much more complicated than in isotropic materials.

The experience and intuition gained over the years about the behavior of metallic materials does not apply to composite materials.

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Disadvantages of Composites
Composites materials are difficult to inspect with conventional ultrasonic, eddy current and visual NDI methods such as radiography.

American Airlines Flight 587, broke apart over New York on Nov. 12, 2001 (265 people died). Airbus A300s 27-foot-high tail fin tore off. Much of the tail fin, including the so-called tongues that fit in grooves on the fuselage and connect the tail to the jet, were made of a graphite composite. The plane crashed because of damage at the base of the tail that had gone undetected despite routine nondestructive testing and visual inspections.

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Disadvantages of Composites
In November 1999, Americas Cup boat Young America broke in two due to debonding face/core in the sandwich structure.

Mechanical Engineering Dept.

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Production of Fiber-Reinforced Plastic Sheets

Vacuum-Bag Forming and PressureBag Forming

Open-Mold Processing

Manual methods of processing reinforced plastics: (a) hand lay-up, and (b) spray lay-up. Note that, even though the process is slow, only one mold is required. The figures show a female mold, but male molds also are used. These methods also are called open-mold processing. (c) A boat hull made by these processes.

Filament-Winding

(b)

(a) Schematic illustration of the filament-winding process; (b) fiberglass being wound over aluminum liners for slide-raft inflation vessels for the Boeing 767 aircraft. The products made by this process have high strengthto-weight ratio and also serve as lightweight pressure vessels.

Pultrusion

(a) Schematic illustration of the pultrusion process. (b) Examples of parts made by pultrusion. The major components of fiberglass ladders (used especially by electricians) are made by this process. Unlike aluminum ladders, they are available in different colors but are heavier because of the presence of glass fibers.

Injection Molding Sequence

Sequence of operations in the injection molding of a part with a reciprocating screw. This process is used widely for numerous consumer and commericial products, such as toys, containers, knobs, and electrical equipment

Melt-Spinning Process
The melt-spinning process for producing polymer fibers. The fibers are then used in a variety of applications, including fabrics and as reinforcements for composite materials

Metal Matrix Composites Production

STIR CASTING 1-Motor with stirring system,2-Heating Furnace,3-Crucible,4-Stirring blade,5-Plug

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