A sustained upsurge in the use of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials has occurred over the last forty years. The use of polymer composites has grown at a phenomenal rate since the 1960s, and these materials now have an impressive and diverse range of applications in aircraft, spacecraft, boats, ships, automobiles, civil infrastructure, sporting goods and consumer products. The use of composites will continue to grow in coming years with emerging applications in large bridge structures, offshore platforms, engine machinery, computer hardware and biomedical devices. Figure 1.1 shows the growth in the use of composite materials by various industry sectors in the United States since 1960. Over this period consumption has increased about 30 times, and the growth rate is expected to continue. The greatest increases are occurring in the transport and construction markets, although the use of composites is also substantial in the corrosion protection (eg. piping), marine, and electrical/electronic markets as shown in Fig. 1.2.


Heat Release Rate Fibre Reinforce Polymer Fire Safety Flame Spread Fire Hazard 
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