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Chapter 16: Composite

What are the classes and types of composites? How do we estimate composite stiffness & strength?

Chapter 18 - 1

Combine materials with the objective of getting a more desirable combination of properties Ex: get flexibility & weight of a polymer plus the strength of a ceramic Principle of combined action Mixture gives averaged properties

Chapter 18 - 2

-- Multiphase material w/significant proportions of each phase. -- The continuous phase -- Purpose is to:
- transfer stress to other phases - protect phases from environment


-- Classification: metal

MMC, CMC, PMC polymer


Dispersed phase:
-- Purpose: enhance matrix properties.
MMC: increase sy, TS, creep resist. CMC: increase Kc PMC: increase E, sy, TS, creep resist.

-- Classification: Particle, fiber, structural

Chapter 18 - 3

Composite Survey
Influencing factors of the dispersed phase: a) concentration, b)size, c)shape, d)distribution, e)orientation.






Continuous (aligned)

Discontinuous (short)


Sandwich panels


Randomly oriented
Chapter 18 - 4

Composite Survey: Particle-I

Particle-reinforced Examples: - Spheroidite matrix: ferrite (a) steel


particles: cementite (Fe3 C) (brittle)
Adapted from Fig. 10.19, Callister 7e. (Fig. 10.19 is copyright United States Steel Corporation, 1971.)

60 mm

- WC/Co cemented carbide

matrix: cobalt (ductile) Vm : 10-15 vol%!

particles: WC (brittle, hard) 600 mm particles: C (stiffer) 0.75 mm

Adapted from Fig. 16.4, Callister 7e. (Fig. 16.4 is courtesy Carboloy Systems, Department, General Electric Company.)

- Automobile matrix: rubber tires


Adapted from Fig. 16.5, Callister 7e. (Fig. 16.5 is courtesy Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.)

Chapter 18 - 5

Composite Survey: Particle-II

Particle-reinforced -- two approaches.
E(GPa) 350 Data: Cu matrix 30 0 w/tungsten 250 particles 20 0 150 0



Elastic modulus, Ec, of composites:

upper limit: rule of mixtures Ec = VmEm + VpEp lower limit: 1 Vm Vp = + Ec Em Ep
20 40 60 80 10 0 vol% tungsten
Adapted from Fig. 16.3, Callister 7e. (Fig. 16.3 is from R.H. Krock, ASTM Proc, Vol. 63, 1963.)



Specific gravity of composite: rc=rmVm+rpVp Specific stiffness: E/r

Chapter 18 - 6

Composite Survey: Fiber-I

Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural

Fibers very strong Provide significant strength improvement to material Ex: fiber-glass
Continuous glass filaments in a polymer matrix Strength due to fibers Polymer simply holds them in place

Chapter 18 - 7

Composite Survey: Fiber-II

Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural

Fiber Materials
Whiskers - Thin single crystals - large length to diameter ratio graphite, SiN, SiC high crystal perfection extremely strong, strongest known very expensive Fibers polycrystalline or amorphous generally polymers or ceramics Ex: Al2O3 , Aramid, E-glass, Boron, UHMWPE Wires Metal steel, Mo, W

Chapter 18 - 8

Fiber Alignment

aligned continuous
longitudinal (extensional) modulus f = fiber Ecl = Em Vm + EfVf m = matrix Fc=Fm+Ff => Ff/Fm = EfVf/(EmVm) transverse modulus

aligned random discontinuous

Ec = EmVm + KEfVf efficiency factor:
0.1<K<0.6 -- random 2D: K = 3/8 (2D isotropy) -- random 3D: K = 1/5 (3D isotropy)
Chapter 18 - 9

1 V V m f Ect E m Ef

Composite Survey: Structural

Particle-reinforced Fiber-reinforced Structural

Stacked and bonded fiber-reinforced sheets -- stacking sequence: e.g., 0/90

-- benefit: balanced, in-plane stiffness
Adapted from Fig. 16.16, Callister 7e.

Sandwich panels
-- low density, honeycomb core -- benefit: small weight, large bending stiffness
face sheet adhesive layer honeycomb
Adapted from Fig. 16.18, Callister 7e. (Fig. 16.18 is from Engineered Materials Handbook, Vol. 1, Composites, ASM International, Materials Park, OH, 1987.)

Chapter 18 - 10