A composite is a combination of two or more materials bonded together to gain some overall necessary goods.
Types of composite include: laminated materials fibre composites particle composites.
A laminate contains thin pieces of material fused together. Common examples are plywood and car windscreens. Wood is durable when exposed to a ductile force equivalent to its grain, but if the strength is across the particle it splits simply.
A windscreen is made in a parallel way; two sheets of reinforced glass are bonded to a piece of clear plastic in a sandwich. If the glass smashes, the plastic grasps the wrecked pieces together.
Wood and bone are natural composite materials. Wood is a fibre composite, containing of fibres of cellulose in lignin cement.
Chipboard is a fibre composite that contains wooden chips stuck together. The stuffing of the chips is random, so the wooden fibres lie in all ways. Different natural wood, chipboard does not have a grain so it is similarly durable in all directions.
Fibre composites such as glass reinforced plastic (glass fibre) and carbon fibre reinforced plastics have replaced metals in some applications. They are lighter than metals and are not affected by fatigue. Some car bodies are made from glass fibre.
Its light weight provides enhanced acceleration and fuel intake but it is not as durable as the same width of steel, so it gives a reduced amount of protection to the driver and passengers.
Glass fibre does not rust like metals, so it is also suitable for uses such as the structures of boats. Because glass fibre is nonmagnetic, it is particularly appropriate for minesweepers.
This diagram shows two methods in which glass fibres can be organised within the plastic. When the fibres are equivalent the glass fibre is strong in the way of the fibres but weak in the direction at right angles to them. A random organisation of the fibres gives a material that is similarly strong in all directions.