Challenge to Composites
A composite material is a material of two or more constituent materials which have improved characteristics when together than they do apart. For example, reinforced concrete is one of the most widely used composite materials in construction. Concrete is strong in compression but weak in tension, so the reinforcing material (usually steel bars called “rebar”) is embedded and absorbs the stresses such as tensile in a concrete structure. In this way two materials act together in resisting forces.
On the other hand, ICC mainly focuses on fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) that is lightweight, strong and rustproof material made of a polymer matrix reinforced with fibers such as carbon and glass.
Currently, carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) are increasingly being used as a structural material for aircraft, automobiles, ships and wind turbine blades.
CFRP's lightweight, strong, and rust-proof properties are the key advantages for making structures larger, lighter, and longer in life.
For example, the use of CFRP has reduced the weight of airplanes and greatly reduced fuel costs, while larger wind turbine blades have improved power generation efficiency and renewable energy self-sufficiency.
ICC has been promoting the FRP’s application to infrastructure such as bridges and buildings, which have even greater social impact. By using FRP for infrastructure, it is possible to extend the service life and significantly reduce maintenance costs, and the weight reduction improves workability and enables highly flexible architectural design.
Composite materials can provide variety functions by combining different materials, creating in higher performance products. ICC works on the application technology research on composites and provide support to companies in their product development, thereby bringing about major innovation in society.