Using more than one construction substance to create a material or a structure with improved qualities is related to the composites. Numerous examples of simple composite material used since ancient times and innovative solutions applied in large multi-storeyed buildings allow obtaining materials with enhanced properties, such as durability, strength, thermal efficiency, and lightness. Innovative construction techniques make using sustainable building materials efficiently possible.
A composite material is a combination of two or more substances with different physical and chemical qualities. The perfect composite construction material consists of the components completing each other’s downsides. For example, a material can become more robust, lighter, more stretchable, or resistant to electricity or corrosion in combination with a composite possessing specific characteristics. Traditional materials often require improvement of the properties to be used in various construction projects.
Using composites appears to be beneficial for the environment in many cases. By adding composites, the material’s durability is affected, which influenced the reduction in material use. Enhancing the properties of the building materials results in better insulation, thermal conductivity and more efficient energy consumption. Innovations are allowing the creation of versatile composite materials to provide new opportunities for recycling.
The use of composites in construction started way back in 3400 BC in Iraq, from gluing wood strips to create plywood. Later mud bricks were reinforced with straw. During the industrial revolution, polyester and vinyl were invented due to the knowledge about chemicals. The breakthrough in the composites’ area started in 1930 with the first fibre reinforced polymer, which continues to be used today. With the high interest in ecological issues these days, the active research and innovations are related to the green composite materials and enhancement of their properties.