Using Polymer Composites as an Aluminum Alternative
Polymer composites share many of the positive qualities of aluminum and other traditional materials. Many industries are using composites to improve the design process and end products and polymer composites are often replacing traditional materials like aluminum. This article will outline some of the benefits of using polymer composite as an aluminum alternative.
Polymer Composites have High Strength-to-Weight
One of the key reasons for using polymer composites as an aluminum alternative is their high strength-to-weight ratio. Polymer composites are lighter whilst also being stronger and stiffer, leading auto engineers to use composites to lighten vehicle weights whilst improving crash safety. Because polymer composites are made of multilayer laminates, absorbing more energy than steel or aluminum.
Polymer Composites are Highly Durable
One benefit of both polymer composites and aluminum is that they do not rust. Polymer composites are seen as a good aluminum alternative, though, because aluminum corrodes and polymer composites do not. Their high dimensional stability means that they can keep their shape in both cold and hot environments. This means they are excellent materials for outdoor structures such as wind turbine blades or building construction. As polymer composites do not corrode they are easier and cheaper to maintain, creating long-term stability.
Polymer Composites are a Safer Aluminum Alternative
Composites are not conductive, unlike aluminum which is a hazard in high voltage areas. Composites are not vulnerable to impact, whereas aluminum is a low-strength metal that are prone to denting, breaking, or deforming.
Polymer Composites are More Cost-Effective Long Term
Although aluminum has a low material cost and is easy to install, its lack of durability means it will have to be repaired and replaced more frequently. This means that polymer composites are more cost-effective long term.
Aluminum is an abundant element in the earth’s crust, making it easy to source. Its combination of properties means it is extremely versatile, hence its popularity. However, aluminum should not be used in applications that use hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, chlorine, and some other compounds. This means that aluminum is not suitable for wastewater facilities and some outdoor structures that are exposed to the elements.
Polymer composites are resistant to inorganic and organic compounds alike, including all alkaline and acidic environments that aluminum cannot be used in.
Aluminum Alternatives from Strongwell
Strongwell offers a range of products made from polymer composites, offering solutions to problems that provide value for customers along with safety and practicality. If you would like to find out more about polymer composites as an aluminum alternative, get in touch with the team at Strongwell for more detail.