Material utilized for composites, Mechanical Engineering

Material Utilized For Composites

Composite presents a very broad range. From usual reinforced concrete to metal- metal fibre composites of high strength are in employ. The strength of any type of material is governed via defects. Such defects in solids are dislocations, inclusions or micro-cracks. This is intuitive of guess the number of such defects will raise along with size and surface region and hence material in appearance of thin wafers or fibres are about to have less defects and thus better strength. That material fibres and whiskers have certainly been improved. Whiskers are particular crystals free of dislocations.

Glass fibres are very usually employed as reinforcing constituents. These fibres contain high strength to weight ratios, high resistance to temperature as high and low, good dimensional stability, low water absorption and high electrical insulation. Furthermore the glass fibres are amenable to fabrication and cost less. Two categories of glass fibres, well-known as E-glass and S-glass are commercially generate and are respectively employed for high electrical insulation and mechanical strength. Glass fibres are generated via drawing from glass melt and are accessible in form of yarn, woven mats and rovings.

Carbon fibres are another commonly employed reinforcement in plastic matrix. The fibres contain low density, high modulus and high strength of elasticity. Although, carbon fibres are very costlier.

Aramid fibers are mostly aromatic polymide fibres are commercially available in two forms termed as Kevlar 49 and Kevlar 29. Kevlar 29 is identified for high strength and low density. Kevlar 49 has higher of elasticity modulus. Table no.2 illustrates mechanical properties of the fibres.

Boron fibres are yet another, identified for its much superior stiffness, merely next to graphite whiskers. That density is comparable along with E-glass.

                                                                    Table no.2: Comparative Mechanical Properties of Fibres


Sl. No.








Kevlar 49




Tensile Strength (MPa)








Modulus of Elasticity

(Tensile GPa)










% elongation of fracture







Density (kg/m3)






Distinct benefit of carbon fibres over E-glass can be seen in forms of strength, modulus of density and elasticity but carbon fibres are extremely brittle. Kevlar 49 has higher strength, ductility and lower density but that's modulus of elasticity is lower than such of E-glass. Glass fibres contain distinct advantage of low cost. Boron fibre is expensive. To oxidation boron and carbon both fibres are susceptible. Glass fibres do not oxidize. Glass fibre has the drawback of losing strength along with temperature but boron and carbon both fibres do not.

Glass fibres in individual filament form are drawn from molten glass in a furnace. Large number of filaments is gathered to compose strands. The strands are transformed in yarn and rovings. The strands are held together via resinous binder. Rovings are utilized to create glass fibre mats such can be employed to create composite along with similar properties in a plane.

The properties of graphite fibre, E-glass fibres, boron fibres, S-glass, and Kevlar 49, are represented in following figure. This can be noted here, the tensile strength varies in between 1700 and 3400 MPa though the fracture strain varies in between 0.4 and 4.0 percent. Best combination of strength, elasticity's modulus and density's modulus are available in carbon fibres.

The carbon fibres are complete from polymer fibres produced via throwing jet of molten polymer in coagulating bath. The fibres that produced are wound upon frames, heated to 250oC to oxidize the fibres that shrink and turn black. Such fibres are further carbonized in a furnace at about 1000oC and then heat treated to 1500oC and 1800oC for high strength and modulus of elasticity respectively. The polymer base of such fibres comprises acrylic polymers, polyacrylonitrite or PAN or rayon. The rayon and PAN base fibres are expensive.

Posted Date: 2/27/2013 4:57:04 AM | Location : United States

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