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Chapter 7: Composites

What are the classes and types of composites?
What are the advantages of using composite
How do we predict the stiffness and strength of the
various types of composites?

Chapter 15 - 1
Combination of two or more individual

Design goal: obtain a more desirable

combination of properties (principle of
combined action)
e.g., low density and high strength

Chapter 15 - 2
-- Multiphase material that is artificially

Phase types:
-- Matrix - is continuous
-- Dispersed - is discontinuous and
surrounded by matrix

Adapted from Fig. 15.1(a),

Callister & Rethwisch 4e.

Chapter 15 - 3
Matrix phase: woven
-- Purposes are to: fibers
- transfer stress to dispersed phase
- protect dispersed phase from
-- Types: MMC, CMC, PMC 0.5 mm
metal ceramic polymer section
Dispersed phase:
-- Purpose:
MMC: increase sy, TS, creep resist. 0.5 mm
CMC: increase KIc Reprinted with permission from
D. Hull and T.W. Clyne, An
PMC: increase E, sy, TS, creep resist. Introduction to Composite Materials,
2nd ed., Cambridge University Press,
-- Types: particle, fiber, structural New York, 1996, Fig. 3.6, p. 47.

Chapter 15 - 4
Classification of Composites


Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural

Large- Dispersion- Continuous Discontinuous Laminates Sandwich

particle strengthened (aligned) (short) panels

Aligned Randomly
Adapted from Fig. 15.2,
Callister & Rethwisch 4e.

Chapter 15 - 5
Classification: Particle-Reinforced (i)
Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural
- Spheroidite matrix: particles: Adapted from Fig.
cementite 11.19, Callister &
steel ferrite (a) Rethwisch 4e. (Fig.
(ductile) (Fe C) 11.19 is copyright
3 United States Steel
(brittle) Corporation, 1971.)
60 mm
Adapted from Fig.
- WC/Co matrix: particles: 15.4, Callister &
cemented cobalt WC Rethwisch 4e. (Fig.
15.4 is courtesy
(ductile, (brittle,
carbide tough)
: hard)
Carboloy Systems,
Department, General
Electric Company.)
600 mm
Adapted from Fig.
15.5, Callister &
- Automobile matrix: particles: Rethwisch 4e. (Fig.
tire rubber rubber carbon 15.5 is courtesy
Goodyear Tire and
(compliant) black Rubber Company.)
0.75 mm Chapter 15 - 6
Classification: Particle-Reinforced (ii)
Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural

Concrete gravel + sand + cement + water

- Why sand and gravel? Sand fills voids between gravel particles
Reinforced concrete Reinforce with steel rebar or remesh
- increases strength - even if cement matrix is cracked

Prestressed concrete
- Rebar/remesh placed under tension during setting of concrete
- Release of tension after setting places concrete in a state of compression
- To fracture concrete, applied tensile stress must exceed this
compressive stress

Posttensioning tighten nuts to place concrete under compression

Chapter 15 - 7
Classification: Particle-Reinforced (iii)
Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural
Elastic modulus, Ec, of composites:
-- two rule of mixture extremes:
upper limit: Ec = Vm Em + Vp Ep
Data: 350 Adapted from Fig. 15.3,
lower limit:
Cu matrix 30 0 Callister & Rethwisch 4e.
w/tungsten 250 1 Vm Vp (Fig. 15.3 is from R.H.
= + Krock, ASTM Proc, Vol.
particles 20 0 Ec Em Ep 63, 1963.)


0 20 40 60 80 10 0 vol% tungsten
(Cu) (W)
Application to other properties:
-- Electrical conductivity, se: Replace Es in equations with ses.
-- Thermal conductivity, k: Replace Es in equations with ks.
Chapter 15 - 8
Classification: Fiber-Reinforced (i)
Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural
Fibers very strong in tension
Provide significant strength improvement to the
Ex: fiber-glass - continuous glass filaments in a
polymer matrix
Glass fibers
strength and stiffness
Polymer matrix
holds fibers in place
protects fiber surfaces
transfers load to fibers

Chapter 15 - 9
Classification: Fiber-Reinforced (ii)
Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural
Fiber Types
Whiskers - thin single crystals - large length to diameter ratios
graphite, silicon nitride, silicon carbide
high crystal perfection extremely strong, strongest known
very expensive and difficult to disperse
polycrystalline or amorphous
generally polymers or ceramics
Ex: alumina, aramid, E-glass, boron, UHMWPE
metals steel, molybdenum, tungsten

Chapter 15 - 10
Fiber Alignment
Adapted from Fig. 15.8,
Callister & Rethwisch 4e.


aligned aligned random

continuous discontinuous
Chapter 15 - 11
Classification: Fiber-Reinforced (iii)
Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural
Aligned Continuous fibers
-- Metal: g'(Ni3Al)-a(Mo) -- Ceramic: Glass w/SiC fibers
by eutectic solidification. formed by glass slurry
matrix: a (Mo) (ductile) Eglass = 76 GPa; ESiC = 400 GPa.

(a) fracture

From F.L. Matthews and R.L.

2 mm Rawlings, Composite Materials;
Engineering and Science, Reprint
fibers: g (Ni3Al) (brittle) (b)
ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL,
2000. (a) Fig. 4.22, p. 145 (photo by
J. Davies); (b) Fig. 11.20, p. 349
From W. Funk and E. Blank, Creep
(micrograph by H.S. Kim, P.S.
deformation of Ni3Al-Mo in-situ composites",
Rodgers, and R.D. Rawlings). Used
Metall. Trans. A Vol. 19(4), pp. 987-998,
with permission of CRC
1988. Used with permission.
Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Chapter 15 - 12
Classification: Fiber-Reinforced (iv)
Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural
Discontinuous fibers, random in 2 dimensions
Example: Carbon-Carbon C fibers:
-- fabrication process: very stiff
- carbon fibers embedded very strong
in polymer resin matrix, (b)
C matrix:
500 mm
- polymer resin pyrolyzed less stiff
at up to 2500C. view onto plane less strong
-- uses: disk brakes, gas
fibers lie
turbine exhaust flaps,
(a) in plane
missile nose cones.
Other possibilities:
Adapted from F.L. Matthews and R.L. Rawlings,
-- Discontinuous, random 3D Composite Materials; Engineering and Science,
-- Discontinuous, aligned Reprint ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2000.
(a) Fig. 4.24(a), p. 151; (b) Fig. 4.24(b) p. 151.
(Courtesy I.J. Davies) Reproduced with
permission of CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Chapter 15 - 13
Classification: Fiber-Reinforced (v)
Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural
Critical fiber length for effective stiffening & strengthening:
fiber ultimate tensile strength fiber diameter
fiber length > f shear strength of
2tc fiber-matrix interface
Ex: For fiberglass, common fiber length > 15 mm needed
For longer fibers, stress transference from matrix is more efficient
Short, thick fibers: Long, thin fibers:
sf d sd
fiber length < fiber length > f
2t c 2tc

Low fiber efficiency High fiber efficiency

Chapter 15 - 14
Composite Stiffness:
Longitudinal Loading
Continuous fibers - Estimate fiber-reinforced composite
modulus of elasticity for continuous fibers
Longitudinal deformation
sc = smVm + sfVf and c = m = f

volume fraction isostrain

Ecl = EmVm + Ef Vf Ecl = longitudinal modulus

c = composite
f = fiber
m = matrix
Chapter 15 - 15
Composite Stiffness:
Transverse Loading
In transverse loading the fibers carry less of the load

c= mVm + fVf and sc = sm = sf = s

1 Vm Vf
= +
Ect Em Ef
Ect = transverse modulus
Ect =
VmEf + Vf Em

c = composite
f = fiber
m = matrix
Chapter 15 - 16
Composite Stiffness
Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural

Estimate of Ecd for discontinuous fibers:

sf d
-- valid when fiber length < 15
-- Elastic modulus in fiber direction:
Ecd = EmVm + KEfVf
efficiency factor:
Values from Table 15.3, Callister &
-- aligned: K = 1 (aligned parallel) Rethwisch 4e. (Source for Table
-- aligned: K = 0 (aligned perpendicular) 15.3 is H. Krenchel, Fibre
Reinforcement, Copenhagen:
-- random 2D: K = 3/8 (2D isotropy) Akademisk Forlag, 1964.)
-- random 3D: K = 1/5 (3D isotropy)

Chapter 15 - 17
Composite Strength
Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural

Estimate of s cd* for discontinuous fibers:

1. When l > lc
s cd
= s f Vf 1- + s m (1-Vf )
* c

2. When l < lc

s cd *
= Vf + s m (1-Vf )

Chapter 15 - 18
Composite Production Methods (i)
Continuous fibers pulled through resin tank to impregnate fibers with
thermosetting resin
Impregnated fibers pass through steel die that preforms to the desired shape
Preformed stock passes through a curing die that is
precision machined to impart final shape
heated to initiate curing of the resin matrix

Fig. 15.13, Callister & Rethwisch 4e.

Chapter 15 - 19
Composite Production Methods (ii)
Filament Winding
Continuous reinforcing fibers are accurately positioned in a predetermined
pattern to form a hollow (usually cylindrical) shape
Fibers are fed through a resin bath to impregnate with thermosetting resin
Impregnated fibers are continuously wound (typically automatically) onto a
After appropriate number of layers added, curing is carried out either in an
oven or at room temperature
The mandrel is removed to give the final product
Adapted from Fig. 15.15, Callister & Rethwisch 4e.
[Fig. 15.15 is from N. L. Hancox, (Editor), Fibre
Composite Hybrid Materials, The Macmillan
Company, New York, 1981.]

Chapter 15 - 20
Classification: Structural
Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural
Laminates -
-- stacked and bonded fiber-reinforced sheets
- stacking sequence: e.g., 0/90
Adapted from
- benefit: balanced in-plane stiffness Fig. 15.16,
Callister &
Rethwisch 4e.
Sandwich panels
-- honeycomb core between two facing sheets
- benefits: low density, large bending stiffness
face sheet
adhesive layer

Adapted from Fig. 15.18,

Callister & Rethwisch 4e.
(Fig. 15.18 is from Engineered Materials
Handbook, Vol. 1, Composites, ASM International, Materials Park, OH, 1987.) Chapter 15 - 21
Composite Benefits
CMCs: Increased toughness PMCs: Increased E/r
Force 3 ceramics
particle-reinf 10
E(GPa) 2 PMCs
10 metal/
1 metal alloys
0.1 polymers
Bend displacement 0.1 0.3 1 3 10 30
10 -4 Density, r [mg/m3]
ss (s-1) 6061 Al
MMCs: 10 -6
Adapted from T.G. Nieh, "Creep rupture of a
Increased silicon-carbide reinforced aluminum
composite", Metall. Trans. A Vol. 15(1), pp.
creep 10 -8 6061 Al 139-146, 1984. Used with permission.

resistance w/SiC
10 -10
20 30 50 100 200 Chapter 15 - 22
Composites types are designated by:
-- the matrix material (CMC, MMC, PMC)
-- the reinforcement (particles, fibers, structural)
Composite property benefits:
-- MMC: enhanced E, s, creep performance
-- CMC: enhanced KIc
-- PMC: enhanced E/r, sy, TS/r
-- Types: large-particle and dispersion-strengthened
-- Properties are isotropic
-- Types: continuous (aligned)
discontinuous (aligned or random)
-- Properties can be isotropic or anisotropic
-- Laminates and sandwich panels
Chapter 15 - 23

Core Problems:

Self-help Problems:

Chapter 15 - 24