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How can we compare the properties of composites with other materials?

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A very useful method of doing this is by plotting them as ”Ashby charts”, which represent each material on the chart as ellipses or ”bubbles”, whose width and height are determined by the range of the value of the properties.

As you may already know, for composite materials, the strength and stiffness of a fabric depend on the type of fiber used, and they are also strongly affected by the type of weaving. The fibers are critical, so it is useful to plot their specific strength and specific stiffness on a selection chart, which shows that many fibers have excellent specific properties!

The strength for the bulk ceramics shown on the chart is compressive strength – the tensile strength is typically only 10% of this value; for the other materials the strength is similar in compression and tension. The strength for all fibers is for loading in tension. In the composite class, CFRP’s and GFRP’s gained considerable attention in different industries because of their high specific stiffness and specific strength.

Bibliographical Reference:

Advanced Composite Materials for Automotive Applications – Structural Integrity and Crashworthiness Page 135