Composites consist of two distinct materials, which together improve product performance and/or lower production costs. Composite materials typically include plated, clad, or coated metals, however the term 'composites' has evolved to mean a material containing a matrix, or base substance, and a reinforcement material.
The matrix acts as a binder for the reinforcement while controlling the physical shape and dimensions of the part. Its primary purpose however is to transfer the load, or stress, applied to the part to the reinforcement. The matrix also protects the reinforcement from adverse environmental effects.
SME offers numerous resources for those interested in Composite Materials & Manufacturing, ranging from training courses, video packages, readings and study guides.