Polymer matrix composites which are often abbreviated as PMCs are a very important type of composite materials. There are various kinds of composite parts are produced with polymer matrix composites in today’s technology. Here, you can find out the general expression of the polymer matrix composites.
As you know that composite materials constitute two or more different phases or materials in the same place. In general, the first phase is called a matrix which hosts reinforcing material. The reinforcing phase or material is the second phase that gives additional physical or mechanical properties to the matrix.
Polymer Matrices In PMCs
In PMCs, the polymer materials are used as matrices. The most used polymer matrices in PMCs are the thermosetting materials. Phenolics and epoxies are the most used types of matrix materials in PMCs. Thermoplastic materials are also used in PMCs. But they are not common matrix materials in PMCs. They are mostly used as reinforcement.
In general, a wide variety of elastomer products can be said as composite materials, because of the addition of carbon black.
Types Of Reinforcing Agents In Polymer Matrix Composites
Reinforcing agents can be in various kinds of shapes. And also they can be made from various kinds of materials such as ceramics, metals, or polymers. In terms of shapes, you can find reinforcing agents in polymer matrix composites as; in fibers and flakes, and particles. For various purposes in various applications, different shapes of reinforcing agents are used with different materials.
Fibers As Reinforcing Agents
Fiber structures are the most common type of reinforcing agents in polymer matrix composites. There are various kinds of materials are available as fiber; carbon-based materials, glass-fibers, and polymer-fibers.
Fibers can be also in different shapes;
- Yarn: In the yarn shape of reinforcing agents, continuous fibers are in twisted form but they are not woven.
- Rovings: Unlike yarns, rovings are in the form of parallel orientation. There is no twisted form between continuous fibers or filaments.
- Cloths: Cloths are the woven structure of yarns from continuous filaments.
- Mat: This shape of reinforcing agents constitutes the randomly oriented short-sized filaments.
Flakes And Particles As Reinforcing Agents
Flakes are actually thinner types of particles used as reinforcements in polymer matrix composites. The use and production of flakes and particles as reinforcement is generally easier than the other types of reinforcements. Also, there are lots of kinds of materials are used as flakes and particles in the reinforcement of PMCs.
The most basic explanation of polymer matrix composites can be made like that. There are various kinds of applications of PMCs in today’s technology ranging from aerospace to automotive.
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