When many people hear the term, “composite materials,” their eyes glaze over a bit. But for professionals like us, who create automated equipment for composite extrusions and molding, composites are just another material we see on a daily basis – and not just in the shop. See which common items are now being made with composite materials.
In the Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the highest trafficked areas in a house, so take a good look around and see if you can spot any composites in yours. In addition to natural stone and laminate countertops, solid surface countertops, which is a fancy term for composites, are gaining popularity in the kitchen. Because these countertops can be custom mixed and molded, homeowners have many more color options than they would have with a natural stone. And unlike laminate, the countertop will be seamless. So, are your countertops composite?
In Your Pocket
Wherever you go, you’re likely taking one device with you – your cell phone. It’s your personal assistant, portable note pad, and connection to all the world’s information. And because it’s so important, you probably want to protect it. Composite cell phone cases can put up with just about anything, which is why they’ve become so popular. When’s the last time you saw a naked cell phone? If you can’t remember, you can likely thank those composite cell phone covers.
On the Field
Are you a fan of field hockey? If so, you’re looking at a field full of composites every time you watch a game. Though early hockey stick models were made from wood, modern hockey sticks are made from composite materials. The new sticks are lighter than their wood counterparts and less flexible, which provides players with more power. There are a few different material options including fiberglass, carbon fiber, and aramid fiber (Kevlar), each with its own unique benefits.
On Your Commute
Whether you’re driving to your destination or taking a plane, you’re definitely benefiting from composites somewhere along the journey. Cars are increasingly being made with newer, lighter composite materials to boost efficiency. And aircraft manufacturers are taking note and investing in more material research as well. But more than just the vehicle body, many interior components are already being crafted with this multi-purpose material.
As you look around and take an inventory of everything around you, how many items can you spot that are made of composites? Let us know in the comments, or take a picture and share it with us on Twitter.