What Are the Pros and Cons of Composite Materials?

Composite materials are commonly used in the aerospace industry, allowing engineers to tackle various obstacles caused by traditional materials. The constituent materials that make up the advanced composites retain their original characters, offering their individual strengths. Some of the composites used for building aircraft include carbon fiber, fiberglass, and fiber-reinforced matrix systems.

Pros and Cons of Composites

Making airplane parts with composites has both pros and cons when compared to traditional materials. These include the following.


· For a given weight, composites give higher performance and increase fuel savings. Stiffness-to-weight and strength-to-weight are key metrics in aerospace manufacturing, and composite materials can help boost them.
· Part count gets reduced.
· Minimized production costs since composites production is done through a broad array of processes.
· Composite materials don’t rust or corrode readily. Metal fatigue doesn’t cause them to crack, and they can last for long periods in structural flexing environments. This way, stakeholders can use them to control repair and maintenance costs.
· Composites make it easy to meet smooth aerodynamic profiles needed to reduce drag. You can build highly sophisticated double-curvature parts via a smooth surface finish in a single operation.
· Usually, composite materials are poor conductors of electricity and heat, making them excellent insulators for parts where insulation is a prerequisite. If you need to produce thermally conductive components, you can get advanced composites that constitute thermally conductive materials. Therefore, you can take advantage of ample flexibility while working with composite materials.


· When compared to wrought materials, composites are more brittle and more easily damaged.
· There are some issues with their repair. For instance, materials need refrigerated transport and storage. Similarly, special equipment is required for hot curing in many cases.
· Since the aluminum bends and dents easily, it is easy to determine whether the aircraft requires maintenance. Still, it is not easily visible when composites are used to build the interior structure.
· Composites use resins that are vulnerable at 150 degrees Fahrenheit, making it important to take precautions for fires. Burning advanced composites release toxic micro-particles and fumes into the air, causing serious health risks. Structural failure is also a possibility at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Have you made up your mind to use advanced composite for aerospace manufacturing? Contact Pacific Aerospace Corp (PAC) for more details.