What do we mean by composites?


The words ‘composite materials' are understood in different ways by different engineering and industry communities. The term covers any combination of different materials that combined together produce different properties from those of the constituent materials alone.  Most commonly a composite consists of a reinforcement - fibres, flakes or particles - providing strength and stiffness, and a matrix that binds them together and provides toughness and environmental protection.
Within the Materials Community we use the term to mean long fibre reinforced polymeric matrix materials, whether thermoplastic or thermoset. Typical terms used to describe these materials are FRP, fibre reinforced Polymer, GRP Glass reinforced polymer, and CFRP Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer. This group is also for those interested in cast thermosets mainly containing non-fibre fillers. Metal matrix composites are looked after by the Metals and Alloys team, and short fibre reinforced thermoplastics by the Polymers team. Where materials technologies overlap we work closely with our colleagues in the transport and design communities and the technical textiles, polymers, smart materials, metals and alloys and surface engineering groups. So if you have a novel combination or composite material we haven't mentioned above - we're probably the right group to talk to too!

Latest Events

You can view all the latest composite events on the events page.


Composites reports are now available. For further details please click here

Case Studies

Case studies are now available.  To view please click here.          

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