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A Composite as the name suggests is the material made by two or more metals. The resultant of this is the composite material with different physical and chemical properties.

The interesting point is that the constituent materials remain and distinct within the composite materials.

Composite materials are preferred because of it’s stronger and expensive properties compared to the standard materials.

Some common composite materials are –

  • Composite wood such as plywood
  • Reinforced plastics such as fiberglass
  • Reinforced concrete

Concrete is the most commonly used composite used in the building materials which is made from loose stones and cement.

The properties are enhanced such as it can bear high compressive force. composites can also be made up by mixing two metals such as done in the metal matrix composites and cermet (ceramic and metal).

Carbon composites are key materials in the launch vehicles and space crafts as a heat shield.


Recently HMD Global launched Nokia 7.2 which was claimed to use polymer composite as frames of the phones.

The constituent materials of the composites are classified as matrix and reinforcement. The matrix helps the reinforced materials to be in there relative position.

Wood is also a natural composite of cellulose fiber in a matrix of lignin. Reinforcement such as fibers adds rigidity and prevents cracks propagation.

Thin fibers can have very high strength provided because they are well attached to the matrix and increases the overall life span of the composites.
Physical properties of the composite are anisotropic

It means its properties depend on the loads and types of loads, composites can fail on the microscopic or the macroscopic level.

Referring to the buckling and Rankine theory it can crush the compressive loads as the Rankine gordan formula.

The tension in the matrix or failure in the bond in the matrix results in the failure of the composites.

Back to: Basics of Material Science

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