Thermoset composite materials are used in a wide range of applications through various market sectors. They consist of a thermoset resin combined with reinforcing materials such as glass, carbon or other fibers. When the resin matrix and fibers are combined, an irreversible chemical bond is created by molecules cross-linking in the curing process. Composites made of thermoset matrices show high heat resistance, stability, flexibility, and durability. There are various manufacturing processes like high pressure RTM, wet compression molding, prepreg compression molding, infusion and sheet molding compound.
Thermoplastic composites are becoming increasingly popular in a variety of sectors and especially in highly cost-driven markets. Thermoplastic composites consist of a thermoplastic polymer matrix combined with various reinforcing materials such as short, long or continuous glass, carbon or other fibers. Main processes for the production of thermoplastic structural components include injection molding, compression molding, tape laying or placement and winding. Thermoplastic composites offer short cycle times and flexibility of processes, high level of automation and large-scale production as well as adequate recycling opportunities.