Do composites and their anisotropic behaviour only lead to advantages?

In terms of properties materials are quite often ranked on the basis of their anisotropic behaviour. What does this mean for the materials and how can knowledge of this behaviour be used to design better products? In our fourth white paper we mainly discuss mechanical anisotropy in composite materials. Download it now!

The use of lightweight components stands or falls by the choice of materials. The product value, product costs, production costs, development costs and risks are however difficult to estimate when talking about less well-known materials such as composites. Moreover, the wide range of materials and processes makes selection even more difficult. This is why the SLC-Lab and the department dealing with sustainability at Sirris, as well as their partners in the CompositeBoost project, want to pass on essential tools and methodologies to help designers and OEMs make the right choices. In our fourth white paper we mainly discuss mechanical anisotropy (i.e. physical material properties which have different values when measured in different directions). 

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Compared to classical construction materials (metals), composites show low failure strains. However, metals quickly enter their plastic regime, thereby allowing composites to outperform them when elastic energy needs to be stored. In addition, fibre reinforced plastics materials tend towards controlled degradation, permitting damage-tolerant designs. The high levels of specific strength and stiffness and good fatigue tolerance have introduced fibre reinforced plastics materials to a wide range of applications such as military equipment, civil aircraft parts, sport articles, etc.

(Source picture: RolaTube Technology)