Definition of composite materials

House of Composites are working with composite materials which are defined by at least two different materials are combined to form a new material with new or improved properties compared to the properties the original materials each had.  

Composite material example

An example of a common composite material is glass fibres and a thermosetting resin such as polyester.
  • The continuously fibres have by themselves a very high tensile strength and good stiffness, but no compressive properties just like a rope.   
  • The resin has low but more or less the same properties in all directions.
  • When combining the two materials the cured resin works as a glue and a load distributor between the single fibres and the composite material now has good mechanical properties in both tensile and compression.

Sandwich panels

A well-known and effective use of composite materials is to design a sandwich construction where a lightweight core material is splitting the ply stack in the middle to increase the flexural stiffness by the use of increase moment of initia. This leads to a huge weight reduction compared to monolithic composite laminate with only a small stiffness reduction at the same thickness or the same or even higher stiffness by increasing the thickness slightly still with a solid weight reduction. The strength will be reduced as less fibres are being used.   Schematic illustration of the two principles with equal flexural stiffness

Sandwich panel Monolithic laminate

List of materials


  • Polyester
  • Vinylester
  • Polyurethane
  • Hybrid
  • Epoxy
  • Bismaleimide
  • Thermoplastics
  • Ceramics


  • Glass
  • Aramid (Kevlar and Twaron)
  • Carbon
  • PBO (Zylon)
  • UHMWPE (Dyneema)
  • Natural
  • Basalt
  • Ceramic


  • PVC foam
  • PUR foam
  • EPS foam
  • SAN foam
  • PET foam
  • PMI foam
  • Balsa wood
  • Honeycomb of aramid, aluminum, carbon fibre or thermoplastics

Fiber proberties

Material type Density Strength Modulus Elongation
  kg/m^3 MPa GPa %
Steel (S235) 7800 360 210 ?
Aluminium (2024) 2780 120 73 15
E Glass 2700 3700 70 4.7
Natural, Flax 1500 600 50 ?
Aramid, Kevlar 29 1440 2920 70 3.6
Aramid, Kevlar 49 1440 3000 112 2.4
HS Carbon, T300 6K 1760 3530 230 1.5
IM Carbon, T800HB 6K 1810 5490 294 1.9
HM Carbon, M35JB 6K 1750 4510 343 1.3
UHM Carbon, M46JB 6K 1840 4200 436 1.0
UHM Carbon, M55JB 6K 1910 4020 540 0.8
PBO, Zylon HM 1560 5800 270 2.5

HOC materials in use

House of Composites are mainly working with composites produced by fibre reinforced thermosetting resin, but also thermoplastic and ceramic types are being used as well.    

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