Fibre-reinforced plastics, also called fibre-composites, are most notably characterised by one key factor: A “one and only” raw material does not exist.
Fibre composites always comprise a combination of different ingredients. The most important components are the fibres, the matrix, and various chemical additives. The fibres are integrated into the matrix material – which then encloses each fibre and holds it in the component – through different processes. The additives can influence the reaction to fire, the component costs etc., and can even serve as reaction accelerator in a plastic matrix.
Different fibres can be used for the production of a fibre-composite component. Glass, carbon, natural, basalt, polymer, and metal fibres are the most important ones. Glass-fibre reinforced plastics (GRP) make up the largest market segment with more than 90 percent. The by now probably most widely known product group CRP (carbon-fibre reinforced plastics) only has a market share of 1 percent. Fassmer primarily uses polyester, vinyl ester, and epoxy resin matrix systems.