chapter  2
Constituent materials
Pages 31

Two major components of a composite are high-strength fibers and a matrix that binds these fibers to form a composite-structural component. The fibers provide strength and stiffness, and the matrix (resin) provides the transfer of stresses and strains between the fibers. To obtain full composite action, the fiber surfaces should be completely coated (wetted) with matrix. Two or more fiber types can be combined to obtain specific composite property that is not possible to obtain using a single fiber type. For example, the modulus, strength, and fatigue performance of glass-reinforced polymers (GRP) can be enhanced by adding carbon fibers. Similarly, the impact energy of carbonfiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) can be increased by the addition of glass or aramid fibers. The optimized performance that hybrid composite materials offer has led to their widespread growth throughout the world (Hancox, 1981; Shan and Liao, 2002). In recent years, hybrid composites have found uses in a number of applications such as abrasive resistant coatings, contact lens, sensors, optically active films, membranes, and absorbents (Cornelius and Marand, 2002).