Use of composite materials in Defence
In the defence sector, fibre-reinforced polymer composites (FRPs) are used in application such as land systems, military aircraft, UAVs, naval vessels, and weapons.
The properties that make FRPs desirable for use in defence applications are:
- Lightweight – excellent for protective clothing and for vehicle components.
- Impact resistance – high strain/failure ratio. If the composite does fail on impact it will shatter and be less harmful to those in the surrounding area than metal.
- Can be coupled with other materials (e.g. metals and ceramics) to increase protection properties.
- Corrosion resistant – less “in field” maintenance required.
- Design for manufacture – e.g. full shapes can be designed and moulded as one piece, reducing the amount of parts needed and increasing production speed.
- Embedded functionality – monitoring systems can be integrated into the material.