A couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to interview Dr Soraia Pimenta from Imperial College London for Materials Today. We discussed all things composites, and I learned more about Soraia’s area of expertise – multiscale discontinuous composites (MDCs).
These materials are reinforced with randomly oriented (discontinuous) bundles of fibres, differentiating them from the aligned carbon fibre materials used in F1 or the aerospace industry. MDCs are kind of a compromise – the fibres provide some improvement in mechanical properties, but not as much as aligned fibres. However, because the fibres don’t need to be aligned, they are cheaper to produce than carbon fibre. MDCs can also be moulded into complex shapes. And like carbon fibres, MDCs are lightweight.So, there are a host of potential applications for them, and Soraia answered my many questions during our chat!
If you have a spare 20 mins, you can listen to it here: http://www.materialstoday.com/composites/podcasts/multiscale-composites/ – click on “Listen Now” to be directed to the file.
PS: Apologies for the sound quality – I was on a Skype headset!