Why use composite materials for structural applications?
The applications of composite materials in various markets—such as construction, energy, and transportation—are virtually limitless. When you need a material solution that is cost-effective, adaptable, and durable, our composite structural materials are what you’ve been looking for. Whether your project takes you into the sky, sea, or on land, Norplex-Micarta has the solution for you.
What goes into composite material production?
Our composite structural materials are made with resin matrices and various reinforcements. Your end product’s application will determine the base materials needed. Our engineers tailor composites for specific design objectives—whether your work entails high stress, deflection controlled situations as well as a range of environmental conditions, such as extreme heat or cold, including cryogenic temperatures.
Achieve the custom composite you’ve been searching for
While we understand attaining custom solutions may seem like an insurmountable challenge, our teams overcome these obstacles every day. Norplex-Micarta’s engineers have already generated hundreds of composite structural materials for thousands more applications, and we’re ready to apply the same ingenuity for your requirements. Through in-house testing and our ever-growing technical resources, we’re able to support your design and development process.
What is a composite?
Composite materials are made up of two or more different materials, referred to as the matrix and the reinforcement.
Each combination is chosen for its ability to deliver predictable and repeatable performance to match the application’s requirements. Since these materials have very different properties, the heterogeneity of composites must be addressed to support the analysis of composite parts and structures.
The matrix functions to bind the reinforcement together and protect it. A composite matrix will be one of three types: polymer, metal or ceramic.
Norplex-Micarta specializes in a subset of polymer matrix composites called thermosets. Thermosets undergo a high-temperature curing process by which the chemical structure of the polymer is irreversibly cross-linked. Therefore, thermosets do not melt after curing, as opposed to thermoplastic materials, which do melt.
The reinforcement is considered the primary contributor to the strength and stiffness of the composite. Potential reinforcements that can be effectively utilized are nearly infinite. Common reinforcement materials include paper, cotton fabrics, glass, aramids, nylon and carbon fiber. Other materials such as virgin PTFE or rubber can be incorporated into the composite to achieve specific design objectives.
Norplex-Micarta produces prepreg from several different resin systems such as epoxy, phenolic, melamine, and silicone. These resin systems can be modified through the use of various additives to modify their behavior. These additives can make the material semi to fully conductive, increase the hardness, increase the toughness, or reduce the coefficient of friction, amongst other possible enhancements.
Reinforcements are virtually endless. From the choice of the fiber, to woven, non-woven, and stitched fabrics, and various hybridizations and combinations of the myriad of inputs, designers have a wide range of potential inputs that can be used to optimize a material for their specific application.
Learn more about Norplex-Micarta’s various products:
Have another idea or a question about Norplex-Micarta and our approach to composites? Speak with one of our applications engineers to discuss how Norplex-Micarta’s thermoset composites can be designed your specific application.