Most of us come in contact with composite materials on a daily basis. Whether your putting together a home book shelf from particle wood or building a high tech aircraft, chances are you have had a hand in building a composite structure. For most of us, the term composite may not come to mind when we use them. In fact composites can look like something that has been made of typical building materials, but there is a distinct difference! Can you name any? Here is a list of ten benefits of using composite materials.
• One of the key benefits composites can offer is the ability to help in the construction of high end projects like military aircraft and nautical vessels. While to some this may not seem important, composite materials can significantly lower the cost of these projects. Additionally, composites can be used to “Stealth” an aircraft or vessel by avoiding radar detection.
• Composite materials tend to be lighter in weight allowing for flexibility and ease in building. This material which consist of a combination of separate materials can be used to create a single composite which may be stronger than other options.
• In business, cost is always a factor. With lower costs comes higher profit. The use of composites lowers production costs and allows for increased production, hence higher profit. Companies like Boeing use composite materials in many of their aircraft parts. Without this valuable material asset company production would suffer. Many companies worldwide rely on composites in their everyday business and find no other material comparable. Composites have become a necessity for many companies throughout the world.
• Composites are very flexible not only in design but in their unique ability to withstand the elements. These materials do not rust and are extremely durable able to withstand time and rugged conditions. In fact composites are relied on when no other alternative would work, like the construction of the Apollo spacecrafts.
• Composites are amazingly flexible. Other metals like steel do not bend easily. In fact when we try and bend them they have a tendency to dent and for the most part do not bend at all. Composites can be configured to take the shape of just about anything. This is why they are great in the construction of vehicle and nautical vessels.
• Composites are extremely lightweight when compared to other building materials. Due to their lightweight nature and the ability to be molded into any shape, they are almost always used when constructing vehicles intended for speed, like race cars.
• Composite materials are made with an end result of having incredible strength. This added strength can be used to make body armour and military vehicles designed to absorb blasts. Additionally, for parts that are made in bulk cost associated are lowered significantly.
• Composite materials do not conduct electricity. These materials are often used when the potential to conduct electricity exists. Fiberglass, a composite is used in the making of electrical tools like “fish tapes” are the result of composite materials. Fish tapes are used to pull wires or fish though conduits which may have electricity present inside.
• Composites are unbelievably durable. Many composites used in decades past are still intact and have not suffered the natural breakdown other metals have. While to this day we don’t know the lifespan of every composite, it is apparent that this material has the ability to have a long shelf life.
• Finally, using composite materials for certain project has proven to just make sense. In fact, some projects probably wouldn’t succeed if it were not for composite materials. Projects in aerospace and sea are and have been dependent on composites for decades. Projects like the Stealth Bomber which relies on materials designed to shield from radar detection could not of been achieved had composites not been invented.
This list of benefits of using composite materials is not exclusive. There are without a doubt many more possible benefits. Try and come up with some yourself or look around you and see how the use of composite materials had made your community what it has become. You may be surprised at how many structures and everyday items are constructed using composites!