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Defining composites

Resources | March 1, 2009 | By:

What is a composite?

Technically, a composite is simply a material that is composed of disparate components that are combined in such a way that the finished product has different properties than each component could achieve on its own. Therefore, a vinyl-laminated fabric is a flexible composite. Composites use a textile base fabric and a matrix material. Woven, knit, braided and even nonwoven fabric structures can be used as textile base materials; the matrix material can be polymers, ceramics or metal. Some composites, like vinyl laminates, are flexible, and others can be rigid.

Juli Case is IFAI’s information and technical services manager.

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