Composite materials are the result of a combination of two or more components, which are chemically different from each other and insoluble in each other, and which mutually contribute to the provision of mechanical, chemical and physical characteristics which are overall superior, or at any rate more suitable for the intended use, in comparison with those of their individual constituents. A composite material comprises a matrix and a reinforcing material. The matrix acts as a filler material, and has the function of transferring loads, giving stability and geometry to the structure and protecting it from environmental factors, from wear and from possible mechanical shear actions. The reinforcing material is added in the form of fibres or particles, and has the function of improving the mechanical characteristics of the matrix. Fibre-reinforced plastic matrix composite materials present a unique combination of the following properties, in comparison with traditional materials:

/High rigidity (limitation of deformations)
/High strength (high load bearing capacity)
/Optimal rigidity/weight ratio
/Optimal mechanical strength/weight ratio
/Optimal properties in targeted directions
/Resistance to atmospheric agents and UV rays
/High chemical inertness
/Low thermal and electrical conductivity
/Adaptability to specific shapes and requirements