The term composite material refers to any substance composed of two or more simple components.

This combination creates a product with mechanical properties that are superior to those of its individual elements.

A composite material is generally made of a reinforcement, ensuring rigidity and mechanical resistance, and a matrix that encloses and binds the reinforcement as well as giving shape to the final product.

Various composite materials are found in nature, for example wood, composed of lignin (reinforcement) and cellulose (matrix).

Many composites are used in construction, from bricks of mud and straw to reinforced concrete, which is a mixture of concrete (matrix) and steel bars (reinforcement).

The composite materials used by Carbonovus are of the latest generation, comprised of a thermoset polymer matrix (epoxy resin) and various reinforcements, in particular:

  1. Carbon fiber — characterized by elevated torsional resistance, rigidity, and tensile and compressive strength. In addition it possesses the following properties: very low density, exceptional heat resistance in non-oxidizing atmospheres, a thermal expansion coefficient of zero, and insensitivity to humidity and corrosive agents.
  2. Fiberglass — characterized by good mechanical properties (tensile strength and tear resistance), a low modulus of elasticity, decent resistance to high temperatures and an interesting price/performance ratio.
  3. Aramid fibers (such as Kevlar) — characterized by high tensile strength, low density, not overly high stiffness (medium elongation at break), good resistance to cutting, poor resistance to compression, and especially strong resistance to fatigue and impacts.

While commonly used metallic construction materials are isotropic (of equal physical properties along all spatial directions), composite materials reinforced with the above-mentioned fibers are anisotropic (with properties that vary according to the perpendicular, parallel or angled axes of the fibers). They can therefore be modified by varying the fiber orientation and the lamination sequence for best results in the final product.

Another decided advantage in using composites is the possibility of placing a PVC foam core between two fiber laminates so as to obtain a very light and rigid “sandwich” panel.