8 Benefits That’ll Prove How Valuable Composite Building Materials Are
We often assume that construction materials comprise some of the bare necessities that are made of just one component such as bricks, wood, and cement. However, did you know that it is possible to mix and match various components to produce another kind of material altogether?
This is what construction experts call ‘composite building materials’. In this article, we will walk you through the numerous benefits that composite building materials have to offer and how can it be applied based on all kinds of development needs.
Classified as ‘Matrix’ or ‘Reinforcement’, composite building materials are a result of two or more components that consist of distinctive physical and chemical properties which have not been thoroughly fused together. When it is not entirely combined, the components involved will turn into a type of mixture where both blended components remain separate.
Since certain mixed components do not completely dissolve or merge, it gets to retain its original characteristics while providing unimaginable benefits such as light weight yet strong, ability to resist corrosion, making it possible for radar signals to pass through, does not require high maintenance, durable for long periods of time, retains shape despite weather conditions, allows for designing as well as customizing to take place, and quick installation.
In general, composites are made of a mixture of Polymer matrix resin, also known as plastic. What kind of plastic, you ask? Well, according to acmanet.org, various examples include thermoplastic or thermoset resin (polyester, isopolyester, vinyl ester, epoxy, and phenolic) and Fibre reinforcement (glass, carbon, aramid or other reinforcing materials). These mixtures are executed for a good purpose – which is to ensure that there is an adequate aspect of ratio based on length and thickness.
The most popular type of composite is plastic but due to its fragility, not all of them are actually pure composites. Plastics are mixed with fibre and when it is reinforced, it can be produced into one of the sturdiest and most solid materials that technology has ever been able to develop.
In addition to that, the automotive industry is also one of the biggest markets that employ composite building materials in their manufactured goods. Now that you have gotten well acquainted with the functions of composite building materials, it is time to take a closer look at the incredible benefits tied to it.
Solid and Durable
When a particular construction is assembled with composite building materials, you can rest assure that it will be long lasting even with very minimal care. There is no definite answer to how long composite building materials can last but research has shown that it can remain in shape for over half a century. Now, that is a very long time.
Light in Weight
Although mixed with a variety of components, composite building materials are lighter compared to other building materials such as bricks, stone, and metal. Its lightness actually comes in handy for a reason. As highlighted by acmanet.org, “Their lightness is important in automobiles and aircraft, for example, where lesser weight means better fuel efficiency (more miles to the gallon). People who design airplanes are greatly concerned with weight, since reducing a craft’s weight reduces the amount of fuel it needs and increases the speeds it can reach”.
The strength of composite building materials should not be under estimated as it is actually way stronger than it looks. How is this possible? Well, the specialty of composite building materials is that it can be engineered and designed to be strong in any direction that a manufacturer determines it to be. In other words, it can be as flexible as possible, catering to a construction’s particular needs.
This, right here, is a testament of how we should never “judge a book by its cover”. Composite building materials have the highest strength-to-weight ratio in most structures today. One of the special traits of composite building materials is how it can be very strong without necessarily being heavy.
The strength-to-weight ratio also shows that a composite building material’s weight does not essentially reflect its strength. Some materials can be heavy but not as durable whereas some may be light yet robust. Of course, there are some that are heavy and strong at the same time. That is just how these composite building materials are designed to be.
Worried about damages caused by certain building materials? With composite building materials, you can set your worries aside. Composite building materials are able to resist damages caused by various factors such as weather conditions, high-impact casualties or other harsh chemicals that can weaken the quality of composite building materials.
With the aptitude to withstand sudden vigorous forces, composite building materials are strong enough to face high-impact power or energy. For instance, when a right composite building material is used, a particular construction will be able to stand up to a force of a bullet and even explosions. Thanks to its distinct ability to do so, composite building materials are used to produce bulletproof objects for shielding purposes.
Designers adore building materials that possess design flexibility because it gives them the freedom to utilise their creativity. Composite building materials are not only low in cost but are also flexible and can be easily molded into intricate shapes, unlike other materials. When composite building materials are shaped accurately, it drastically improves specific designs with a perfect finish.
While other building materials can shrink and expand depending on its surrounding temperature, composite building materials are also capable of retaining its shape and size when weather conditions get too hot or cold.
Heat Reductions a.k.a Low Thermal Conductivity
Composite building materials are extremely useful for buildings because it does not transfer too much heat when the climate is hot. Acmanet.org paints a perfect picture of how composite building materials come in handy for architecture - “Composites are good insulators—they do not easily conduct heat or cold. They are used in buildings for doors, panels, and windows where extra protection is needed from severe weather”.
In this era where change is constant, composite building materials are commonly utilised for all kinds of applications. From being an uncommon building material, composite building materials have become a vital part of manufacturing and construction.
So, what do manufacturers use these materials for?
- Aircraft and Marine
Caters to commercial, industrial and military industry.
Household and office appliances such as power tools, business equipment, and so on.
- Automotive and Vehicles
Solid auto parts such as panels, rims, trunks, rails, and more.
- Civil Infrastructure
Repair works and replacement for buildings, roads, bridges, and so on.
Includes wall panels, roof, and various fixtures, amongst others.
- Consumer Products
Sports equipment, furniture, kitchen appliances and a whole lot more.
- Electrical Gadgets
Pole line hardware, substation equipment, microwave antennas, printed wiring boards, etc.
What a discovery! Looks like composite building materials are not entirely a bad idea when it comes to production and construction as it has its own set of perks that benefits all… from manufacturer to the end user.