Composites 101

Composites 101 For Industry

Composite materials provide long-term resistance to severe chemical and temperature environments commonly found in industrial applications.

Manufacturing composite materials requires an understanding of the unique conditions, design considerations, use of materials, performance, turn-around and delivery requirements for each application. Here are answers to commonly asked questions.

A material made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties that, when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components. The individual components remain separate and distinct within the finished structure, differentiating composites from mixtures and solid solutions.
A comprehensive glossary of industry terms is located at

Composites are easily drillable, PDC friendly, non-conductive, non-magnetic and perform in environments up to 450° F and 30,000 PSI. Materials can be matched for specific downhole environments.

The most common types of composites are a result of combining reinforcing fibers with resin. Fibers can be a variety of items such as glass, Kevlar, carbon fiber, quartz, basalt or boron.

GP&C utilizes many different resin systems and cloth/roving combinations to meet each component or assemblies’ mechanical loading and environmental requirements.

Our engineers and technicians work jointly with customers early in the process, to develop prototypes, choose the best composite materials and manufacturing methods for construction, and coordinate and conduct in-house testing, assuring an innovative solution for your needs.

It is advantageous to involve our engineers early in the design phase for their expert guidance in using composite material for mechanical applications. Vital recommendations on the front-end will prevent time-consuming and costly changes at the back-end. They are experienced professionals with composite materials engineering backgrounds and are an excellent resource on customer projects.

Thermoset plastic is a polymer that irreversibly cures and cannot be reprocessed. A thermoplastic is a polymer that can be re-molded and re-processed.

Typically, precision ground shaped mandrel or diamond tooling is used to machine specific features.

The design will most likely change and is dependent on component geometry and mechanical strength requirements.

Composites pack a powerful one-two punch with their ability to be molded into complex shapes at a relatively low cost. This offers designers, engineers and architects a freedom not typically found with other competing materials. Because composites are a blend of reinforcing fibers, resins and additives, they can be manufactured to meet an array of requirements. Designers are free to create exciting new products and, in many cases, are only limited by their imagination.

Designers like working with composites because parts can be tailor-made to have strength and stiffness in specific directions and areas. For instance, a composite part can be made to resist bending in one direction. The strategic placement of materials and orientation of fibers allows companies to design parts and products to meet unique property requirements. Being able to address high stress and strain areas is critical in several markets, including oil and gas, where both high-end and everyday applications count on composites. Source:
Composites do not rust or corrode. Products made from composites provide long-term resistance to severe chemical and temperature environments. Composites are often the material choice for outdoor exposure, chemical handling applications and other severe environments. There are many examples of glass fiber reinforced polymer ductwork being in service in chemical manufacturing plants for more than 25 years, operating in harsh chemical environments 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Composites offer corrosion-resistant solutions for many industries, including oil and gas, sporting goods, aerospace and aviation, air pollution control, chemical processing, desalination, food and beverage, mineral processing and mining, pulp and paper, solid waste landfill and water and wastewater treatment.

Material strength depends on the manufacturing method, and reinforcement cloth weave/roving size and direction.

GP&C maintains strict confidentiality in all interactions with our customers or would-be customers. No analytical data, reports, opinions, discussions and other information are released to any third party without your permission.

Confidentiality is a very important aspect of our work at GPC, and our excellent reputation in the industry is a result of not only our product knowledge, expertise and service, but also of our high code of ethics.

Yes, confidentiality agreements will be signed upon request to our management.

It depends on the geometry. Typically, it is slightly more expensive, but costs can be controlled by using proper tooling.