Materials In Today's World



A host of high-technology applications require materials that have specific and unusual properties that cannot be met by any of the monolithic conventional metals, ceramics, and polymers. Some of these requirements have been met through the judicious combination of two or more distinct materials into composite materials that possess materials properties better than those found in the monolithic classes of materials. In this lesson, we will organize the composites into four main classifications and explore the strengths, as well as many of the current applications of these materials.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Define and contrast the use, cost, and ease of fabrication of polymer-, ceramic-, and metal-matrix composites.
  • List and define the four main classifications of composite materials.
  • Note the three common fiber reinforcements used in polymer-matrix composites and, for each, cite both desirable characteristics and limitations.
  • Cite the desirable features of metal-matrix composites.
  • Note the primary reason for the creation of ceramic-matrix composites.
  • Name and briefly describe the two sub-classifications of structural composites.

Lesson Roadmap

Lesson 9 will take us one week to complete. Please refer to Canvas for specific due dates.

Lesson Roadmap
To Read Read pp 246-282 (Ch. 13) in Introduction to Materials ebook
To Watch Monuments to Man: The Impact and Influence of Concrete on Civilization
To Do Lesson 9 Quiz


If you have general questions about the course content or structure, please post them to the General Questions and Discussion forum in Canvas. If your question is of a more personal nature, feel free to send a message to the course instructor through Canvas email. The instructor will check daily to respond.