Composites are the hidden features within many of the things we rely on daily to live our lives, yet you likely don’t even realize the importance of composites in your life. For example, without the use of composites, it would be nearly impossible for us to fill our cars with gas, rely on appliances like dishwashers and stoves, and travel via planes, trains and automobiles. In fact, the American Composite Manufacturing Association says that “composites can help America build and rebuild a stronger and longer lasting infrastructure.”
But what is a composite? Well, a composite is a material made from two or more different materials that, when combined, are stronger than those individual materials alone. In other words, composites help us solve problems, raise performance levels, and create endless opportunities for innovation.
So many industries use composites from electrical, construction, and agriculture. But, the use of composites does not stop there. Many of the things we enjoy and consider luxuries in life, or the things we “want” as opposed to “need” rely on composites. Tony Lignetta, Mar-Bal’s Manager of New Business Development is an expert in composite-using industries and shared some of the unexpected uses of composites.
Transportation. It’s likely not a surprise that composites are used in our cars. Composites are used anywhere from simple covers and trays to more complex designs utilizing their high strength-to-weight and corrosion resistant properties. Also, under the hood and brake systems applications take advantage of the durability and heat resistance of composites. It’s not just cars. Buses, RVs, heavy trucks, and emergency vehicles all utilize composites in their designs. And, don’t forget the use of composites in snowmobiles, jet skis, and golf carts.
Household. As mentioned above, composites are commonly used in many household appliances like stoves and dishwashers. But, composites are also used in high-efficiency blenders to help make them quieter and stronger. Composites also help us wash and dry our clothes. Additionally, if you enjoy satellite television, it’s made possible by the use of composites in satellite dishes.
Water and Agriculture. Although many of us take our water for granted, water treatment facilities are essential to our continued health and longevity. Composites are used for water tank covers and for partition walls at treatment facilities. And, without water, it would be hard for our crops to grow. Some uses of composites in the agriculture Industry include seed planters and hoppers and tractor body parts. Composites are well-suited to these industries because of the versatility and customization options, as well as the long-term durability and ability to consolidate parts.
As our world continues to develop and innovate, composites will remain a leading industry. Without composites, many great ideas would be stalled or unattainable for mass consumption.