Composites can be a tricky material to classify and standardize because by their nature they are not very standard at all. This can be a challenge for sourcing teams, product development groups, and R&D staff when they are working with flexible composite materials. Complexities exist within the broad material category of flexible composites that make classification and standardization a challenge. For example, one subset of composite materials has an adhesive coating that changes from an un-tacky coating to a tacky adhesive coating when exposed to a given set of environmental conditions. So, what is it? How do you classify it, discuss it, and find suppliers of it?
We start with a simple definition of what exactly a composite material is.
A composite is a combination of two or more distinct materials having a recognizable interface.
Then we use three simple Composite Type classifications to differentiate composites and standardize our language and communication about them.