why composites picture
composites are stronger
Compare Fiber-Reinforced Composite Material vs.

Click any chart to view Youngs Modulus data table

Plastic (Structural Foam Polystyrene)
versus polystyrene
versus concrete
versus steel
versus wood
composites are energy efficient
Compare Fiber-Reinforced Composite Material vs.
Plastic (Structural Foam Polystyrene)
composite steel
building materials history
history of building materials

materials revolution

Before 1950's - Inground pools were only made of concrete.

1950's - Inground pool wall material started with wood. Low strength and low longevity.

1960's - Inground pool wall material transitioned to steel. This added strength but little in additional longevity.

1970's - Inground pool wall material transitioned to plastic structural foam. Plastic pool walls added greatly to longevity but reduced strength dramatically from steel or wood.

2000's - Inground pool wall material using NEW Highly Reinforced Composite Material Technologies allows superior strength to meet or exceed steel with unsurpassed longevity.

composite white papers
seawallRevolutionary seawall material protects Tampa general hospital waterfront. These advances are also leading to structures that last longer and have more consistent design performances based on manufacturing expectations.
composites_techFiber-reinforced thermoset resins have earned a place in the "industrial" applications sector, that catch-all descriptor that encompasses applications in which toughness and corrosion-, fire- and fatigue-resistance eclipse aesthetics. Observers cite several reasons for the shifting emphases. "We continue to see a demand in industrial applications for resins that require enhanced physical properties — resins that are tougher, have higher heat resistance and higher corrosion resistance," says John McAlvin, R&D manager at resin supplier AOC LLC (Collierville, Tenn.)
composite houseA concept house made almost entirely from composite materials will be one of the featured attractions at the JEC Composites Show in Paris, March 29 31. "The Ashland house provides a real-world example of the infinite possibilities for the use of composites in unique building and construction applications," said Stefan Osterwind, commercial director, Ashland Performance Materials for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India.
The U.S. Navy wants to reduce weight fractions on its rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs). Zodiac Boats (Stephensville, Md.) and Structural Composites (Melbourne, Fla.) proposed a lightweight single-skin "membrane" hull design that does that and better handles shock loads.
dreamlinerThe 787 Dreamliner features composite materials which Boeing say help to make it more fuel efficient and provide lower operating costs. "We are inspired by the airline's enthusiasm for this airplane and look forward to the day when we make our first delivery to ANA," said Scott Fancher, Vice President and General Manager of the 787 Program.
atkAlliance Techsystems' composite technologies have been used in several space launch vehicles, including the Atlas V, Delta II and Delta IV. ATK's composite technology supported the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida earlier this week. The launch placed NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory into orbit.
indy bridgeA bridge destroyed in an Indianapolis park seven years ago by flooding has been replaced. The fiberglass-reinforced plastic bridge is made of composite materials known for their lightness, strength and resistance to decay; and officials say it't the longest in the nation.
composite bridgeHigh-strength FRP materials such as glass or carbon fiber reinforcements provide pedestrian bridges with a strength-to-weight ratio greater than steel, offering significant design and erection advantages. Also, FRP composite materials are inherently corrosion-resistant. This unique FRP materials quality eliminates the ongoing maintenance concerns from moisture, salt air, and termites that pose problems for typical pedestrian bridges constructed in steel, wood and concrete.
frp seawallHurricane Ravaged Community Chooses Modern Seawall Material for Future Storm Erosion Protection. The homeowners of Inlet Point chose ShoreGuard FRP sheet pilling for their 2800' seawall project. The original bulkhead was constructed of wood which had been attacked by marine borers. Hurricane Ophelia destroyed the deteriorating structure.
info scienceIn building construction, it is shown how the possible transparency, lighting and color, as well as the low thermal conductivity of GFRP composites enable the integration of architectural and building-physical functions into structural components.
composite bridgesThe Butler County Engineer's Office has installed a structure built entirely of advanced composite materials originally designed for use in the aerospace industry -- fibers such as glass embedded in epoxy.The use of composite materials for civil infrastructure applications has been ongoing and locally, the Butler County Engineer's Office has an established history of testing progressive technologies such as this.
us department of transportationFor more than 25 years, the FHWA, AASHTO, and NCHRP has researched and demonstrated the use of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, space age technology for bridge construction. New breeds of this high performance and innovative material developed in the last 70 years are making headway into the civil and bridge infrastructures. Currently, there are more vehicular bridge projects using FRP composite materials in the United States than in any other country.
Composites have actually been in use for thousands of years. Adobe bricks were made using a composite of mud and straw. It is the combination of the physical properties of each material that gives the composite material many of its physical characteristics. Today’s advanced composites, like carbon fiber, bring together combined properties we’ve come to know – lightweight, strong, durable and heat-resistant. Today, the benefits of components and products designed and produced in composite materials – instead of metals, such as aluminum and steel – are well recognized by many industries.
Nasa CompositeA NASA team looking into design concepts for future space capsules believe they have successfully demonstrated that an all-composite structure is a feasible alternative to traditional metal capsules for carrying astronauts into space and returning them safely to Earth. Engineers say that these composite materials promise potential benefits over traditional metal structures, one significant benefit being that they can easily be formed into complex shapes.
compsite hummerTPI Composites has successfully completed accelerated durability testing and road testing on its All Composite Military Vehicle (ACMV). The prototype is said to be more durable and 900lbs lighter than a traditional HMMWV. "We're proud to apply our expertise in composite technology to assist the military in providing a lighter, safer, more durable vehicle for U.S. troops," said CEO Steve Lockard.
engineer liveFibre reinforced polymers (FRP) have been used to solve corrosion problems for more than 50 years in many industries including chemical process, mineral processing, pulp and paper, and coal burning power plants. In many applications, fibre reinforced polymers provide superior performance to other materials of construction. As such they are now becoming the first material considered rather than one of last resort.
ISISThe next generation of engineers, faced with rapidly deteriorating infrastructure, is destined to face many difficult decisions in maintaining and preserving our civil infrastructure systems. Engineering students must therefore be made aware of emerging FRP and SHM technologies.
composites introWhile research into the use of FRP materials in a number of structural applications is ongoing, an overall knowledge of currently available FRP materials is essential for the new generation of civil engineers. Experience has shown that the problems of the future cannot generally be solved with the materials and methodologies of the past, and FRPs are rapidly emerging as key materials for use in durable and sustainable infrastructure.
composites engineThe need for underhood components that perform better and longer at less weight and cost has opened a growth area for several families of fiber-reinforced, injection-moldable, high-temperature (semi)crystalline thermoplastics. The chemistry of these resins enables higher thermal and chemical performance and greater toughness than commodity thermoplastics. They represent new opportunities to replace metals by taking advantage of what composites do best. Close cooperation between OEMs, resin suppliers and processors clearly paid dividends in materials enhancements and, in some cases, process innovations.
PipingAccording to the World Corrosion Organization (New York, N.Y.), the annual cost of corrosion worldwide is estimated at $2.2 trillion (USD) — more than 3 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). Corrosion-control products are required in practically every area of industry and daily life — from the power plants that produce our energy and the wastewater treatment plants that clean our water to the bridges that connect our highways and railways. Fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) has been used in many industrial corrosion-control applications.
Profiles made of composite – Glassfibre-reinforced plastics (GRP) - today provide an alternative to conventional structural materials such as concrete, steel, aluminium and wood. Used for structural purposes, composite has the advantage of combining a number of properties not usually found together in a single material. In particular it combines high strength and low weight, while at the same time it is non-corrosive and has thermal and electrical insulation properties. It can also be machined like wood using diamond-tool equipment.
StairsFiberglass ladders, handrails, beams and walkways were used in the solids separator platform at the North Putnam Wastewater Treatment Facility. The wastewater treatment facility is located in the city of Hometown, West Virginia and services over 11,000 business and residential customers. The fiberglass materials were cost effective and require little maintenance compared to traditional materials.
Race CarThe chassis of an IndyCar is designed to be lightweight for speed, but being made of composite materials, it is strong -– a top priority for driver protection. All racing teams in the IZOD IndyCar series run a spec chassis built by Dallara, which can be powered by a Chevrolet, Honda, or Lotus engine. Chassis structural features include honeycomb and energy-absorbing material to cushion impacts, and the chassis design must meet impact tests without sustaining damage.