chapter  1
10 Pages

Applications of Composite Materials

Composite materials are generally defined as mixtures of two or more materials of different physical properties. Different materials are mixed together with the purpose of generating superior materials having properties better than those of the individual materials. The individual materials are immiscible with each other and exist as distinct phases. Thus, composite materials are multiphase materials consisting of at least two phases (each phase being a different material). In this book, composite materials are defined as dispersed systems consisting of fine insoluble particles distributed throughout a matrix (continuous phase). The particles distributed within the matrix are collectively referred to as the particulate or dispersed phase. The particulate phase may consist of spherical particles ranging anywhere from nanometers to microns in diameter, discontinuous short fibers or whiskers, small disc-or plateshaped particles/flakes, or core-and-shell-type spherical particles.