Fibre-reinforced plastics, also called composite, are most notably characterised by one key factor: A “one and only” raw material does not exist.
Composite 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 composite component. Glass, carbon, natural, basalt, polymer and metal fibres are the most important ones. GRP (Glass fibre reinforced plastics) 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.