There are many uses for composites. They can be molded into huge structures that would otherwise cost far more to produce using metal or plastic components. Braided composite materials are particularly useful because they are lightweight, sturdy, and very strong once fully cured. One of the great advantages is the ease with which these materials can be formed via molding.
The following are the main uses of braided composites.
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Create Bicycle Frames
One use of braided composites is to create bicycle frames. This makes a lightweight bicycle that can withstand significant impact forces. The material’s strength and flexibility make it ideal for this purpose, especially when paired with an aluminum alloy outer shell. They are also used in other sports equipment, such as snowboarding boots and kiteboarding kites.
Used for Rescue Lines on Helicopters or Lifeboats
Another common use is for rescue lines on helicopters or lifeboats. The high strength-to-weight ratio means that a line can be made with the same strength needed to lift a person who weighs several hundred pounds, yet it will weigh considerably less than a similar line made from metal.
Construction of Telescopes
Telescopes range from extremely large ones, such as the Hale. They have a strength-to-weight ratio similar to that found in Kevlar fiber. However, they do not lose strength when exposed to ultraviolet light as Kevlar does. This makes them very useful for mirror components. In addition, braided composites are used in the construction of large telescopes.
Used as an Automotive Radiator Fan Shroud
Another use for braided composites is as an automotive radiator fan shroud. These are used to connect two or more fans, which helps cool the engine. Because of their high strength-to-weight ratio and resistance to corrosion, braided composites are used as the outer shell of the shroud. The inside is made of plastic or metal sheeting. This protects the more fragile material from damage and ensures that the fans work even if the shroud cracks.
A composite material is a two-part system consisting of tightly woven fibers, such as glass or carbon fibers, and a stiff resin that holds the fibers together. The resulting material has properties different from either individual component. It combines desirable attributes, such as strength and low weight, with easy fabrication through molding and other processes.