Saturday, 8 September 2012

What are Composites?

Composites offer a range of properties such as tremendous durability and high specific strength, which are impossible to match with traditional materials. Moreover, they allow the design of complex geometric forms and the engineering of bespoke materials precisely tailored to meet the demands of the particular application.

These beneficial characteristics have enabled the rapid incorporation of composites within a wide range of industries from deep sea, polar and space exploration to household appliances and building facades.

Boats are a good example of the successful application of composites and also happen to be one of the earliest mass applications of the technology. Boats can be made out of a variety of materials – wood, aluminium, steel, and even concrete, yet most pleasure boats today are built from fibreglass composites. The reason is that composites can be easily moulded into complex shapes, which improve boat design, and the structure requires minimal maintenance despite being exposed to an extremely harsh marine environment.

This inherent durability of composites is attractive to many industries, and not least of all the construction industry. Many structures have now been in service for more than 50 years.

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