Why Composites?

The majority of our clients move from the use of metal to composites to help them achieve a specific need.

1. To help them reduce the weight of a particular component 

The ‘specific strength’ of an object is defined as the strength of the material it is constructed from, divided by its weight. In this calculation, by substituting a composite for a metal the weight of the material reduces significantly. In turm this means that the composites’ strength to weight ratio is vastly higher than metal alternatives. This unique benefit has enabled our clients to replace many aluminium and metal parts with composite alternatives.

2. To reduce corrosion on an item 

While metal is a very durable and hardwearing material, it isn’t impervious to the effects of the elements – air, water, ice, sand and other elements can all contribute to corrosion in metal components – reducing their effectiveness and lifespan over time. In environments labelled as ‘normal’ and ‘aggressive’, composites have been proven to offer a much higher level of resistance to this naturally occurring corrosion – increasing the lifespan of components. This improved level of resistance is what makes composite such an attractive material for marine and aerospace applications.

3. Increased resistance to repetitive strain 

Over time – all materials are subject to strain and deformation. Where metals and materials like aluminium can end up becoming permenanly stretched or distorted, Composites are able to be designed to experience extensive deformation without taking a permanent set. This ability to deal with repetitive strain over prolonged periods of time has seen the materials extensively used in the manufacture of aerospace wings and other components.

4. Low CTE (coefficient of thermal expansion)

When materials are subjected to heat, the fibres within them expand increasing the size of a component and potentially its effectiveness. The coefficient of thermal expansion refers to the the rate at which the size of the material changes with relation to this temperature change. When working with composites, this CTE is significantly less than seen in metals, with carbon being the most effective material with a CTE close to zero. The replacement of materials like INVAR (an Iron / Nickel alloy) with composites is a good example of how our products have been deployed in the field of metrology.

5. X-ray Transparency

As a material, Carbon fibre is actually transparent to x-rays making it a material of interest to many sectors but most notably the medical sector.

Talk to our team of composites experts today to discuss your requirements with us in detail! 

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See how some of our clients have been utilising our technology across a range of different sectors: