CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2019 Edition
| Editors: Sami Chatti, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart, Tullio Tolio

Composite Materials

  • Dirk BiermannEmail author
Reference work entry



Composite materials are made from at least two materials with substantially different mechanical properties. The mechanical properties of the composite material are different from the constituent materials.

There are three types of composite materials:
  • Ceramic matrix composites (CMC) consisting of fibers embedded in a ceramic matrix.

  • Metal matrix composites (MMC) consisting of fibers embedded in a metal ceramic matrix.

  • Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) made of a polymer matrix reinforced with fibers.

Theory and Application

Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC)


Originally, requirements in aerospace applications played a decisive role in developing ceramic matrix composites. Selection criteria for materials in power plants, heat shield systems for space shuttles and rockets, were a desperate temperature resistance and good characteristics considering its mass. In practice, one of the first CMCs used was the carbon-fiber-reinforced carbons (C/C)....

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Copyright information

© CIRP 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Spanende FertigungTechnische Universität DortmundDortmundGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Garret O’Donnell
    • 1
  1. 1.Trinity College DublinDublinIreland