5: Particle Reinforced Composites
Particle reinforcing in composites is a less effective means of strengthening than fibre reinforcement. Particulate reinforced composites achieve gains in stiffness primarily, but also can achieve increases in strength and toughness. In all cases the improvements are less than would be achieved in a fibre reinforced composite.
Particulate reinforced composites find applications where high levels of wear resistance are required such as road surfaces. The hardness of cement is increased significantly by adding gravel as a reinforcing filler.
The principal advantage of particle reinforced composites is their low cost and ease of production and forming.