New and Proposed Composites 660642

The general history of the use of high-performance plastic reinforced composites is traced. An example of the projected economic impact of weight savings possible through the use of composites for a commercial aircraft, and the elements and their current status of reinforced plastic composites research are presented. Projections of composite research in the next 3–5 years predict, in comparison to current aircraft aluminum alloys, an increase in specific strength by a factor of about 5, an increase in specific modulus by a factor of about 3, and a 300–500 F increase in thermal capability. Projection for the 5–10 year period emphasizes that increased strength is the area of greatest potential.


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