An Introduction to Composite Materials (Polymer Composites or Fibre Reinforced Plastics)

Polymer composites or fibre-reinforced plastics are extremely important class of industrial materials. They are known as advanced materials as they often combine high strength, stiffness and toughness along with lightness which is rare with most of bulk materials. Today, in…

An Introduction to Composite Materials (Polymer Composites or Fibre Reinforced Plastics)

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Polymer composites or fibre-reinforced plastics are extremely important class of industrial materials. They are known as advanced materials as they often combine high strength, stiffness and toughness along with lightness which is rare with most of bulk materials. Today, in most of the high performance engineering applications, fibre reinforced plastics are used. This video provides an introduction to composites – especially the Polymer Composites or Fibre Reinforced Plastics (FRPs). A number of advanced engineering applications of FRPs are explained. The video finishes with the demonstration of two experiments on glass-fibre- epoxy composite. First test is the tensile test using universal testing machine. The second test is on high speed impact test on the composite using a steel ball as the projectile.
Summary:
(1) Polymer composites or Fibre Reinforced Composites are materials that consist of fibres incorporated inside a matrix.
(2) Fibres are generally glass fibres, carbon fibres or aramid (Kevlar) fibres and the matrix can be thermosets (such as epoxy, phenolic etc.) or thermoplastics (such as Nylon).
(3) The most important properties that we achieve in a composite are lightweight, high strength, high Young’s modulus, excellent toughness coupled with low coefficient of thermal expansion, thermal resistance, low water absorption etc.
(4) Polymer composites are used in a host of high performance and specialized applications such as airplanes (interior and fuselage etc.), energy harvesting (wind turbine blades etc.) and storage (hydrogen storage), automotives (car body, interior etc.), sports (tennis rackets, badminto rackets, ski, racing boats, racing bicycle etc.), , buildings (roofs, structures etc.) and so on.

If you want to learn about the calculations of strength and modulus for unidirectional fibre composites then you can watch this video: https://youtu.be/WhcBM568TlM

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