Composites are engineered materials that consist of two or more different things that are made, or composited, of two basically different elements. The earliest composite technology involved straw and mud mixed together to make bricks. Composite materials have evolved, and today you can use composite fiberglass, composite wood, composite plastic, carbon fiber composite, composite decking and composite graphite for a multitude of projects.
Composite applications vary as widely as composite materials. Matching the proper composite material to the application makes getting the job done easier, and it also extends the life of the finished product. Research composite technology and composites properties to get the right composite for the job.
1. What type of composite material will get your job done?
2. What should you expect to spend on composites?
3. Where can you find the composite material you need?
Figure out what type of composite material will work for the jobIf you know what you want to build, you can find a composite technology to get the job done. Finding the right composite material for the job at hand can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it: you can either research the materials first or simply search by function.
Budget for the composite material your company needsPrices vary widely depending on the composite material you select. Composite decking planks may cost less than other composite wood, and composite plastics will have a different cost than composite fiberglass. Do your homework before you buy so your company can budget for the project.
Buy the compositesYou can find an association for almost every type of composite manufacturing company, and each of those associations will direct you to composites manufacturers. If you look for carbon composites and composite deck materials you'll find a healthy representation of the composite materials available.
- Don't be thrown by the use of the phrase "carbon fiber" or "carbon composite." Composite manufacturing processes almost always involve some sort of carbon fiber.