Introducing advanced composites and hybrid materials
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It is our great pleasure to introduce the inaugural issue of Advanced Composites and Hybrid Materials, a new interdisciplinary journal published by Springer Nature. Advanced Composites and Hybrid Materials provides a dedicated publishing platform for academic and industry researchers and offers the composites and hybrid materials field an opportunity to publish their creative research to exchange newly generated knowledge.
Based on the matrix material, composites can be categorized into polymer composites, ceramic composites, carbon composites, and metal composites. One example of the composite from each category is provided: polymer composites in Fig. 1b [3, 4], ceramic composites in Fig. 1c , metal composites in Fig. 1d , and carbon composites in Fig. 1e .
Nanocomposites, with one dimension of any constituent less than 100 nm, experienced a fast development over the past two decades. The large specific surface area and unique physicochemical properties of nanofillers allow flexible design of nanocomposites with unprecedented functionalities. It is expected that research in nanocomposites will keep its energetic momentum in the next few decades since there are still a lot of challenges that need to be addressed with combined research efforts [8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. The integration of different constituents into one unit does not simply generate a mixed property, but also creates some new physicochemical properties that were not present in the individual components. For example, negative permittivity has been discovered in engineered polymer and carbon nanocomposites [13, 14, 15], which is not existed in traditional materials.
Similarly, a hybrid material is not a simple physical mixture of different components. After combining the multiscale components, the resulting hybrid materials usually acquire new properties and these properties can be tailored by the specific chemical and physical properties of individual components, structure, and interfaces between different components . Figure 1g, h illustrates the supermolecular structure of a specifically designed giant surfactant consisting of polystyrene (PS)-block-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) diblock copolymer with fluorinated polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (FPOSS) and carboxylic acid functionalized fullerene (AC60), respectively . Normally, hybrid materials are fabricated by the polymerization of macromonomers and metallic alkoxides, the encapsulation of organic components within sol-gel-derived hybrid metallic oxides, the organic functionalization of nanofillers with lamellar structures, and the self-assembly growth of hydrothermally prepared metal organic frameworks [18, 19].
In these examples and many others, we see that advanced composites, as a type of unusual material that combines high strength and high modulus with substantially superior properties compared to structural metals and alloys with an equal weight, have been widely used in the fields of aircraft, aerospace, civil engineering and construction, and automotive. For example, composites occupy 50 wt% of the total weight of Boeing 787 Dreamliner .
Advanced composites and hybrid materials with novel structures and the investigation of the structure-property-performance relations have become the foundation in composites research. The establishment of new theories becomes possible with the discovery and understanding of new phenomena, which serves as an effective tool to design and create more interesting materials with desired functionalities. Theory guided design principles, new materials, advanced manufacturing facilities, novel interface engineering technologies, and analytical tools are the key driving forces to bring composite and hybrid material science into a new era. Novel strategies such as the Materials Genome Initiative, 3D printing, and other emerging techniques are driving exciting developments in this field.
With the creation of the new Advanced Composites and Hybrid Materials (Adv. Compos. Hybrd. Mater.) journal, here we provide a platform to publish and exchange the research advancement in composites and hybrid materials. We believe both academic researchers and industrial application scientists/engineers will be continuously inspired by their peers in this field and create new materials that will influence the way of living in human society. We thank you for your continuous support to the growth of our composites and hybrid materials society.
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