Wood was the first natural composite material used. Later, cob was used in construction for its insulation and cost properties. Among the earliest man-made composites are the Mongol arches (2000 BC). Their wooden soul was lined with tendon on the back and horn on its internal face.
- 1823: Charles Macintosh creates the raincoat with rubber on fabrics such as cotton.
- 1892: François Hennebique files the patent for concrete.
- 1940 : linen fibers and phenolic resins are used in the British aeronotics industry1945 fiber glass and epoxy fiber are used in the United States and in Germany.
- 1956 : the headliner of the Citroën DS is made of composite materials
- 1967 : the Alouette helicopter blades are made of composite material.
- 1970 : the turbine impellers of the Rolls-Royce’s RB211-22 engine are made of carbon fiber composite
- 1970 : Rossignol develops skis made of fiber glass and resin
- 2009 : the Boeing 787 is composed of 50% of composite materials.
What is composite
The composite material is an assembly of at least two immiscible materials (but having a high adhesion capacity). The new material thus formed has properties that the elements alone do not possess.
- The reinforcement is the skeleton supporting the mechanical forces. It can be in many forms: short fibers (mat) or continuous fibers (fabrics or multidirectional textures) depending on the intended application. Fibers most often have good tensile strength but low compressive strength.
- The main purpose of the matrix is to transmit the mechanical forces to the reinforcement.It also ensures the protection of the reinforcement vis-à-vis the various environmental conditions.
The composite material formula depends on the kind of application, loading ratio… and this differs from standard materials with which it is the design of a structure which has to adapt to the constituent material.
Avantages of the composite material
- Corrosion resistance
- Good resistance to chemicals agents
- Fire resistance
- Low density
- Good insulation
- Transparent to Electromagnetic waves