Functional composites are materials or compounds that offer special magnetic, electrical, and optical properties. These properties cannot be achieved by its single constituent separately. Thus, functional composites combines properties of different materials as well as advantages of different group of materials. Functional composites are stiff, strong, tough, light, and more durable when compared to their original materials. Other special properties of functional composites include new formulations for extrusion products, weather resistance, adhesive properties, high temperature resistance, low weight, biodegradability, barrier properties, and mechanical properties.
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The functional composites group includes composites with magnetic, optical, and electrical properties. Dispersoids are functional composites with large amount of electrical properties. The ion flow is carried out almost on the matrix filler interphase in dispersoids. Functional composites usually implement special properties in combination with initial product properties. Combination of the magnetostriction of phase 1 and the piezoelectricity of phase 2 resulting in the magnetoelectric effect in the composite is one of the example.
Functional composites includes photonic crystals, wherein the matrix as well as the filler are solid phases such as in opal and other structures. These composites also cradle many biomaterials which are protected from interaction through efficient coating systems. Composite material is a multi-phase system that consist of matrix material and reinforcing material. Matrix material is a continuous phase, and it includes metal matrix composite materials, inorganic non-metallic matrix composite materials and polymer matrix composites.
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Functional composites can be segmented on the basis of type into: polymer matric composites, metal matrix composites (aluminum matrix composites), and epoxy resin matrix composites. Polymer matrix composite material uses fiber as reinforcement and organic polymer as matrix. Usually, the strength of reinforcement fiber are higher than that of matrix material, thus, making fibers the main load-bearing part. Metal matrix composites employ low-density metal, such as aluminum; which is reinforced with fibers of a ceramic material, such as graphite/silicon carbide. Aluminum metal matrix is widely used in the automotive industry, owing to its low density and high specific mechanical properties. Aluminum composite matrix dominates the demand for functional metal matrix composites. Growth in automotive and aerospace industries is the key driver of the demand for aluminum matrix composites. In terms of reinforcement, functional composites material can also be classified into: diffusion-enhanced composite materials, particle-enhanced composite materials, and fiber-reinforced composite materials.. Functional composite materials are widely used in several industries such as automotive, aerospace, defense, electrical, electronics, and aerospace.
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Currently, countries in Europe and North America account for the major share of the global functional composite market, owing to developed defense base and aerospace industry in these regions. Large number of manufacturers of function composites are based in North America and Europe. However, in terms of year-on-year growth in demand for functional composites, countries in Asia-Pacific is expanding at a steady rate. Growth in industrialization in Asia-Pacific is the major driver for the demand for various types of functional composites. Automotive and aerospace industries in Asia Pacific especially in China, India, and Japan; are expanding at a steady rate. This, in turn, is boosting the demand for functional composites in the region. Rise in investments, and formation of alliances, joint ventures, acquisition, and collaborations are encouraging companies to expand their market share and attain competitive edge against existing competitors.
Key manufacturers and suppliers of wax emulsion products include Kyocera Corporation, Materion Corporation, 3M Company, 3A Composites Inc., Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., Bayer AG, E. I. Du Pont De Nemours & Company, Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Applied Materials Inc., Ametek, Inc., and Momentive Performance Materials Inc.