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Composites/Plastics: Most Popular Articles

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What Is Polypropylene Used For?
What is polypropylene? The versatile plastic polypropylene is used throughout our daily life, and has become a common piece for packaging and plastic products.
What Exactly Is a Polymer?
What is a polymer. Discover the basics of polymers and what makes them so useful See examples of polymers and their common uses.
What Is a Composite?
When two materials are combined to make a stronger material, a composite is made. Learn what makes composite materials unique, strong, and lightweight.
What Are Epoxy Resins?
Epoxy resins are advanced thermosetting resins used in FRP composites. Learn the basics of this resin, the chemistry, and the uses of epoxy.
The Difference Between Thermoplastic and...
Thermoset vs thermoplastic composites, what is the difference? Both have advantages and there is demand for both thermoplastic and thermoset composites.
Guide To Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber is a lightweight fiber used in advanced composites. Learn about what makes this material so unique and important.
PP Plastics
Polypropylene is a versatile plastic used in many places in our life. Learn about this plastic and the myriad of uses.
All You Wanted to Know about Fiberglass
Fiberglass is a strong and lightweight reinforcement used in composites. Learn about the history of fiberglass and how it is manufactured.
Vinyl Ester vs Polyester Resins
Both resins have distinct advantages over the other. Find out the differences between vinyl ester and polyester resins.
Example of Composites
There are numerous examples of composites, many of which can be seen around the house. Learn about what every day products are manufactured with FRP composites.
What Are Composite Surfboards Made Of?
The composite surfboard combines advanced materials to make the ultimate board. Learn about the key materials of a composite surfboard, and the future of board design.
Applications of Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber has properties that make it desirable in many applications. Learn about what products have adopted this lightweight and durable material.
How Is Carbon Fiber Made?
Carbon fiber, perhaps the most useful material of out time, is manufactured through precise processes. Lear how carbon fiber is made.
Coefficient of Thermal Conductivity
The rate at which heat is transferred by conduction through a unit cross-sectional area of material when a temperature gradient exists perpendicular to the area.
Learn All about the Recycling of Plastics
Plastic recycling can reduce the consumption of other natural resources like timber, due to its use in making composite lumber and many other products.
Uses of Fiberglass
Fiberglass reinforced polymers are the original composite materials. They remain the back-bone of the composites industry. Learn about glass fiber and what products are made with this composite.
Most Common Plastics
We touch plastic polymers all day long, but chances are you are touching one of these five most common plastics.
What Makes PET Plastics Advantageous over Other...
What are PET plastics? Learn about the plastic used in water and soda bottles, and how PET plastic is recycled.
Uses Of Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber is used because of it's high strength and light weight properties. Learn which industries have adopted this unique material.
Composites In Aerospace
The material of choice for aerospace is carbon fiber. Learn about the composites that are dominating the future of aerospace.
The History of Composites
What is the history of composite materials? Find out when the first composite was used, and how composites have changed through the years.
What Is PVC Plastics
PVC plastics are the third most commonly used types of plastic polymers used. Learn about the properties of PVC polyvinyl chloride plastics.
Know the Basics of Polyester and Vinyl Ester
Polyester and vinyl ester resins are the two most common resins used in FRP composites. Learn why these resins work so well.
What's a Composite?
A brief description and definition of composite materials.
What Are Prepregs?
Prepregs are pre-impregnated fiber reinforcements or cloths that are used to manufacture composites. Learn the basics of prepregs here.
8 Raw Carbon Fiber Manufacturers
Learn about the various companies around the world that manufacture raw carbon fiber used in lightweight composite products.
Everyday Plastics
Learn about the plastics we used day in and day out. What are the most common types of plastics we use.
PHR
Abbreviation for parts per hundred parts of resin.
How To Carbon Fiber
Discover how to carbon fiber, the guide for learning the various aspects of carbon fiber composites and how to work with the lightweight composite material know as carbon fiber.
Properties of FRP Composites
FRP composites have unique mechanical properties which provide benefits. Learn about the properties of fiber reinforced polymers.
Uses Of Plastics
The uses and importance of plastic materials in our everyday lives is incredible. Most of use touch a form of plastic at any given time, on any given day.
Top 20 Engineering Achievements of the 20th...
Neil Armstrong announced the 20 top engineering achievements of the 20th Century at a National Academvy of Engineering NAE meeting
Plastics In Children's Toys
Not all plastics are equal, especial when used in children's toys. Learn about the uses of the various plastics and chemicals in toys.
What Are Plastics
Plastics are everywhere, but what are plastics? Learn the basics of this polymer material that has taken over our life.
Notch Sensitivity
The extent to which the sensitivity of a material to fracture is increased by the presence of a surface inhomogeneity such as a notch, a sudden change in section, a crack, or a scratch.
What Are Carbon Nanotubes
Carbon nanotube have promise for breakthrough applications. But, what are carbon nanotubes, or CNTs for short?
Injection Molding
Injection molding is one of the most low cost manufacturing methods of plastic. Understand the other benefits and history of injection molding.
Composite Truck Beds - Composite Materials
Growth Expected in Composite Pickup Truck Beds, from your About.com Guide
A Brief History of Kevlar
Introduction to Kevlar fibers and their properties.
Carbon Fiber Basics
Carbon fiber is an amazing material. Learn the history of carbon fiber, and understand why this composite material is stronger then steel.
Composite Materials In Boats
Some form of composites have been used in boats since man first ventured into the sea. But modern FRP composite materials in boats is still relatively new.
Benefits of Composites
Learn about the features and benefits of composite material.
How You Can Paint Different Composite Materials
How to paint composites and fiberglass. Learn the steps in prepping and finishing a composite material with paint.
High Temperature Thermoplastics
High temperature thermoplastics are gaining popularity due to their increase toughness and durability.
Gel Coat Application
Gel coat application is a science. Learn the proper methods to apply gel coat in composite manufacturing.
Understanding CFRP Composites
Carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP composites) are lightweight yet strong materials. Learn what make these space age materials so useful and desirable.
Fabric Terminology for Composite Materials
Definition of terms used to describe engineering fabrics.
What Are PBT Plastics
PBT plastics are a versatile engineered plastic polymer with uses in a wide variety of application and industries. Learn more about PBT plastics.
Polyurethane Foam
Polyurethane foam is widely used as a core material in composites, but it is also used in a wide range of other applications due to the versatile properties.
Aramid Fibers
Aramid fiber is one of the most useful fibers used in textiles and fiber reinforced composites. The properties of aramid fibers are amazing.
What Is Corrugated Plastic
Corrugated plastic is an inexpensive building that is incredibly useful. Learn more about corrugated plastic.
What Is Carbon Fiber Cloth
Learn about carbon fiber cloth. Discover the terms used in carbon fiber manufacturing such as, 3k plain weave carbon, and 282 carbon fiber.
What is Open Molding
Open molding is a low cost and effective way to manufacture composites. Learn about the two most common methods of open molding, hand lay-up and spray-up.
Evolution Of Wind Turbine Blades
As the trend for larger wind turbine blades continues, new materials and manufacturing technology will be required to meet this demand.
What is EPS - Expanded Polystyrene
Expanded polystyrene, commonly known as EPS, is a lightweight foam with extremely good mechinical
Carbon Fiber in Sports
If one wants to be the best in sports, then chances are they need to use carbon fiber. Be it in the sole of running shoes or used in the shaft of an arrow, carbon fiber dominates the sporting goods world.
Recycling Composite Materials
Recycling of composite materials is a new and growing segment of the composites industry, which is needed for and end of life solution.
Compression Molding
Compression molding is an extremely efficient method of mass producing plastic and composite products. Learn more about compression molding.
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner
Composite materials and carbon fiber make the Dreamliner the most advanced passenger plane to date.
Vacuum Bagging: Basics - Composite Materials
Basic techniques for vacuum bagging laminates, from your About.com Guide
Laminating Resins Used In Composites
Laminating resins are the foundation of composite material manufacturing. Learn about the various components that make laminating resins unique.
What is Teflon?
Teflon, a Trademark of DuPont, is a PTFE plastic polymer with many uses. Although it is used in composites, Teflon is most commonly known for cooking pans.
What Is Blow Molding
Blow molding is a process used in making hollow plastic parts. There are three main types of blow molding: injection, stretch and extrusion.
Fire Resistant Polymers
Fire resistant polymers are used to keep us safe in transportation and buildings.
Introduction to FRP Composites
Fiber Reinforced Polymer(FRP Composites) is an extremely useful material used in a wide range of industries and applications. Learn which industries are using FRP composites
Reusing Plastics
Learn how plastic polymers can be reused and transformed into new products.
Polyethylene Terephthalate
Polyethylene Terephthalate, better known as PET, is perhaps the most common and widely used plastic today. Learn about this durable plastic known as PET.
Linear Polymer
A polymer in which the molecules form long chains without branches or cross-linked structures.
Starting Resin Infusion
Using resin infusion to manufacture composites is not difficult. Learn about the basic components that will be needed to convert to the vacuum infusion process.
Dictionary of Composite Materials Technology
Introduction to the Composite Materials Glossary.
Thermal Properties of Composites
At a certain temperature, FRP composites will soften and lose their structure. This point is called the Glass Transition Temperature, or Tg.
Caul Plates
Smooth metal plates, free of surface defects and of the same size and shape as a composite lay-up, used in contact with the lay-up during the curing process to transmit normal pressure and provide a smooth surface on the finished laminate.
Draw Ratio
(1) A measure of the degree of stretching during the orientation of a fiber or filament, expressed as the ratio of the cross-sectional area of the undrawn material to that of the drawn material.
Debulk
The compacting or squeezing out of air and volatiles between plies or prepreg laminates under moderate heat and vacuum to insure seating on the tool, to prevent wrinkles, and to promote adhesion.
Complex Viscosity of a Fluid
A frequency-dependent viscosity function determined during forced harmonic oscillation of shear stress.
Fiber Volume Fraction of a Composite Materials
The volume of fiber in a cured composite.
Carbon Fiber Tubes
Carbon fiber tubes are extremely strong and stiff, yet very lightweight. Discover how they are manufactured and their applications.
Water Absorption
(1) The amount of water absorbed by a composite material when immersed in water for a stipulated period of time.
Addition Polymerization
A chemical reaction in which simple molecules (monomers) are added to each other to form long-chain molecules (polymers) without by-products.
Advantages of Composite Materials
Composite materials are commonly used because their properties create significant advantages in the products that are manufactured from them.
History of Carbon Fiber
Developed for defense applications, carbon fiber composites are being used in a wide range of applications.
Sanding Composites
How to sand composites. Learn the correct methods and what the proper materials are to be used when sanding composites.
Material Properties T300/5208 Carbon Epoxy
Material properties of T300/5208 carbon epoxy unidirectional prepreg.
Areal Weight
Weight (mass) per unit area of a single ply of dry reinforcement fabric.
Composite Core Material
Core materials are used in composites to provide strength and stiffness without adding much additional weight. Learn about the most common composite core materials.
The Composite Industry
Discover how composites are used in various industries, and how to become a part of the lightweight material movement. Learn about investing, starting, or running a composites company.
Composite Decking
Composite decks are mainstream, and for good reason. Learn about the basics of composites decking.
Introduction to Vacuum Infusion
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Definition of
Polyester Gel Coats
Polyester gel coats are composed of materials which allow for the manufacturing of high quality composite products. Learn what materials are used in gel coats, and why.
Coupling Agent
A chemical substance capable of reacting with both the reinforcement and the resin matrix of a composite material.
What Is Vacuum Forming
Vacuum forming is an excellent method of manufacturing and molding plastic. Chances are you use something that is vacuum formed daily.
What Is The 787 Dreamliner
The new 787 Dreamliner will be the most advanced commercial airplane ever, and it is composite materials that make it possible. Learn why.
Material Properties AS4/3501-6 Carbon Epoxy
Material properties of AS4/3501-6 carbon epoxy unidirectional prepreg.
Composites In UAVs
Composites make UAVs possible. Learn what lightweight composite materials are used in Unmanned Areal Vehicles.
Honeycomb Core
Honeycomb core material is commonly used in composites. It's lightweight and high stiffness offers unique properties desirable in many composite applications.
Drilling Graphite - Composite Materials
The best drill bits for drilling graphite, from your About.com Guide
Types Of Composite Reinforcement
FRP composites receive their strength from the reinforcement. These reinforcements can vary by material (carbon fiber / fiberglass) or vary by style (woven / stitched).
The Pultrusion Process
The pultrusion process is a method of manufacturing low cost fiber reinforced composites. Learn about pultrusion and the benefits.
Environmental Health and Safety Issues With...
An overview of the environmental, health and safety (ES&H) issues associated with composites and plastics.
Splitting Tensile Strength
A method of determining the tensile strength of concrete using a cylinder which splits across the vertical diameter.
Plastic Extrusion
The plastic extrusion process creates products that we use daily. Learn more about extrusion of plastics.
Selecting Composite Materials
Fiber reinforced composites are common, but do you know how to select the different types of fiber and resin used?
Statistics and the Strength of Composite...
Effect of statistical distributions on composite material strength.
Closed Mold Manufacturing
Closed mold manufacturing, for more efficient composite manufacturing. Learn the three common types of closed molding, and their advantages.
Fiber Reinforced Concrete
Fiber reinforced concrete is used day in and out, it is even used on the stucco on our walls. Learn why concrete is being reinforced with composite materials.
Composites In Space
Composite materials are the backbone of space travel. Learn about composites in space.
Devulcanizing Rubber - Composite Materials
Goodyear Patents Devulcanizing Process, from your About.com Guide
FRP - Fiber Reinforced Polymers
: FRP (fiber reinforced polymer) is an acronym commonly used in the composite industry and it referees
Rotational Molding - Rotomolding
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Rotational molding,
Geopolymer Composites: A Ceramic Alternative...
The 105th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Ceramic Society covered a wide range of topics. As part of the symposium on ceramic matrix composites, a special session on geopolymer composites was held. First developed in France several decades ago, geopolymers are being investigated as an alternative to organic matrices.
Wet-Out
Wet-out is a commonly used term to describe the resin impregnating a fiber reinforcement. Learn more about wet-out here.
Centroidal Axis
The line joining the centroid of each cross section along the length of an axial member such as truss diagonal.
Solvent Resistance
The ability of a plastic material to withstand exposure to a solvent including dissolution and swelling.
Basic Design Principals of Structural Sandwich...
Section 1.2 of MIL-HDBK-23A, basic design principles of structural sandwich composites..
Composite Armor
Composite materials are saving lives and assets around the world, every day. The lightweight and strong properties of composites make them an ideal fit for armor applications.
Composites In Military
Composite materials continue to revolutionize military applications as their properties make for better equipment and armor.
Converting The Units of Measurements for...
Converting composite fabric weights to the same unit of measurement is important when comparing two materials. Learn the conversion of grams per square meter to ounces per square yard.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is one of the commonly used plastics. It's wide acceptance in delivering clean drinking water, and removing dirty drinking water has made PVC plastic a useful polymer.
Carbon Fiber Plate
Once high tech, and now common, carbon fiber plate is readily available for use in many applications. Learn about how carbon fiber plate is made.
Composite Fabrics
Structural fibers like carbon fiber are manufactured into cloths and fabrics that are then used in composite manufacturing.
Careers in Composites - Composite Materials
Career options in the composites industry, from your About.com Guide
Hardness Of FRP Composites
The hardness of an FRP composite is an important characteristic of the laminate, measured by a device called an Impressor.
Filament Winding - The Basics
Filament winding is a unique composite manufacturing process. Learn about the filament winding process, common products made, and the key advantages.
Honeycomb Manufacturing and Elastic Properties
Because of the way it is manufactured, honeycomb has one direction which is stronger and stiffer.
Setting Up a Composites Shop
The basic requirements for starting a manufacturing facility for composite structures.
Composite Hockey Sticks
Carbon fiber composites are the material of choice for hockey. Learn why this sport is turning to advanced composite materials.
Effective Depth of Reinforced Concrete
As applied to a beam or slab, it is the distance of the centroid of the reinforcement from the compression face of the concrete.
Ablative Material
A term applied to any polymer or resin with low thermal conductivity which pyrolyzes layer-by-layer when its surface is heated, leaving a heat-resisting layer of charred material which eventually breaks away to expose virgin material.
Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber is an extremely strong yet very lightweight reinforcing fiber used in composite products. It is often used in high-end sporting goods, aerospace, and military applications.
Software Used in Composites
Learn about the software used in composites, when designing products or creating a visual prototype on a computer.
Fiberglass Bathtubs and Spas
Fiberglass is the material of choice in bathtubs and spas, and for good reason.
SACMA Recommended Methods Test Manual for...
Contents of the Suppliers of Advanced Composite Materials Association (SACMA) Recommended Methods test manual.
Selecting a Prepreg
There are many different prepreg types to select from. Decide what type of resin and fiber to use in your prepreg composite.
What Are FR Resins
Fire Resistant (FR) resin and polymers are playing a critical roll in industries regulating fire, smoke, and toxicity.
Fiberglass Insulation - Composite Materials...
How fiberglass insulation works, from your About.com Guide
Index of Carbon/Graphite Composite Material...
Index of material properties for carbon and graphite composite materials.
Gel Coat Variables
Gel coat application is no easy task. The many variables that can effect a gel coat make the process extremely difficult.
Hybrid Composites
There are several types of hybrid composites characterized as: (1) interply or tow-by-tow, in which tows of the two or more constituent types of fiber are mixed in a regular or random manner; (2) sandwich hybrids, also known as core-shell, in which one material is sandwiched between two layers of another; (3) interply or laminated, where alternate layers of the two (or more) materials are stacked in a regular manner; (4) intimately mixed hybrids, where the constituent fibers are made to mix as randomly as possible so that no over-concentration of any one type is present in the material; (5) other kinds, such as those reinforced with ribs, pultruded wires, thin veils of fiber or combinations of the above.
Prepreg Basics
Prepregs are used in composite manufacturing that requires precision, engineered accuracy, and cosmetic perfection.
Structural Adhesives
structural adhesives, glue, bond, composites, aerospace
Tenacity
As used in yarn manufacture and textile engineering, tenacity denotes the strength of a yarn or a filament of given size.
Proportional Limit
The greatest stress which a material is capable of sustaining without deviation from proportionality of stress and strain (Hooke's Law) or the point on the stress-strain curve at which stress ceases to be proportional to strain.
VOCs In Composites
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), are a emissions that can be released during and after plastics manufacturing. Learn more about these here.
Essential Composite Materials Reference Books
The three books every composites engineer needs.
Aramid Fiber - What Are Aramid Fibers
Aramid fibers are a lightweight high strength reinforcement used in fiber reinforced composite applications. Learn more about aramid fibers here.
Whiskers
A term for nearly perfect, single-crystal fibers produced synthetically under controlled conditions.
Random Sampling
The selection of units for a sample size in which all combinations under consideration have an equal chance of selection.
Vinyl Ester Barrier Coat
Vinyl ester barrier coats are used to back up a gel coat and are used to improve properties and increase cosmetic appearance. Learn about VE barrier coats and their application.
Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) Plastic
PBT plastic is a useful and common polymer commonly used in children's toys.
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