Materials selection for marine composites
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This chapter considers the component materials used in fibre-reinforced polymer-matrix composites/laminates or sandwich structures intended for use in the marine environment. The majority of large marine structures use thermosetting resins as the matrix (supplied as a liquid and caused to go solid by the addition of chemicals, and sometimes heat). There is increasing interest in the use of thermoplastic matrix systems as they are more easily recycled, but they normally require higher energy during manufacture to melt the polymer. The most common reinforcement fibres are glass (low cost, strong and relatively flexible) or carbon (higher costs, strong and stiff). The reinforcement fibres are normally converted to a planar fabric form by weaving, stitching or knitting. Brief consideration is given to core materials for use in sandwich structures.
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