1: Introduction

Composite materials, also referred to as composites, are a combination of two or more materials that are mixed or joined on a macroscopic level.

Composite materials are used in engineering applications where a pure material cannot provide the specific set of properties that are required.

The composite can be tailor made to produce a set of properties that are unique and cannot be provided by the individual constituents alone.

Composites can be thought of as a single material that has been enhanced by the addition of another material.

Typically, composites are a combination of a filler material, either particles or fibres, and a matrix material that surrounds the filler, usually a polymer.