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The combinations of two or more different materials are called composite materials. They usually have unique mechanical and physical properties because they combine the best properties of different materials. For example, a fibre-glass reinforced plastic combines the high strength of thin glass fibres with the ductility and chemi­cal resistance of plastic. Nowadays composites are being used for structures such as bridges, boat-building etc.

Composite materials usually consist of synthetic fi­bres within a matrix, a material that surrounds and is tightly bound to the fibres. The most widely used type of composite material is polymer matrix composites (PMCs). PMCs consist of fibres made of a ceramic mate­rial such as carbon or glass embedded in a plastic matrix. Usually the fibres make up about 60 per cent by volume. Composites with metal matrices or ceramic matrices are called metal matrix composites (MMCs) and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), respectively.

Continuous-fibre composites are generally required for structural applications. The specific strength (strength-to-density ratio) and specific stiffness (elastic modulus-to-density ratio) of continuous carbon fibre PMCs, for example, can be better than metal alloys have. Composites can also have other attractive properties, such as high thermal or electrical conductivity and a low coefficient of thermal expansion.

Although composite materials have certain advan­tages over conventional materials, composites also have some disadvantages. For example, PMCs and other com­posite materials tend to be highly anisotropic — that is, their strength, stiffness, and other engineering proper­ties are different depending on the orientation of the com­posite material. For example, if a PMC is fabricated so that all the fibres are lined up parallel to one another, then the PMC will be very stiff in the direction parallel to the fibres, but not stiff in the perpendicular direction. The designer who uses composite materials in structures subjected to multidirectional forces, must take these anisotropic properties into account. Also, forming strong connections between separate composite material com­ponents is difficult.

The advanced composites have high manufacturing costs. Fabricating composite materials is a complex proc­ess. However, new manufacturing techniques are devel­oped. It will become possible to produce composite mate­rials at higher volumes and at a lower cost than is now possible, accelerating the wider exploitation of these materials.


fibreglass — стекловолокно

fibre — волокно, нить

reinforced — упрочненный

expansion — расширение

matrix — матрица

ceramic — керамический

specific strength — удельная прочность

specific stiffness — удельная жесткость

anisotropic — анизотропный

General understanding:

1. What is called «composite materials»?

2. What are the best properties of fibre-glass?

3. What do composite material usually consist of?

4. What is used as matrix in composites?

5. What is used as filler or fibers in composites?

6. How are the composite materials with ceramic and metal matrices called?

7. What are the advantages of composites?

8. What are the disadvantages of composites?

9. Why anisotropic properties of composites should be taken into account?

Exercise 5.5. Find equivalents in the text:

1. композитные материалы

2. уникальные механические качества

3. полимерные матричные композиты

4. составлять 60% объема

5. углепластик

6. привлекательные качества

7. структура, подвергающаяся воздействию разнонаправленных сил

Exercise 5.6. Translate into Russian:

1. PMC is fabricated so that all the fibres are lined up parallel to one another.

2. Forming strong connections between separate com­posite material components is difficult.

3. Fabricating composite materials is a complex process.

4. Composite materials have certain advantages over conventional materials

5. Nowadays, composites are being used for structures such as bridges, boat-building etc.

6. Continuous-fibre composites are generally required for structural applications.


Alfred Bernhard Nobel was a famous Swedish chem­ist and inventor. He was born in Stockholm in 1833. Af­ter receiving an education in St. Petersburg, Russia, and then in the United States, where he studied mechanical engineering, he returned to St. Petersburg to work with his father in Russia. They were developing mines, tor­pedoes, and other explosives.

In a family-owned factory in Heleneborg, Sweden, he developed a safe way to handle nitroglycerine, after a factory explosion in 1864 killed his younger brother and four other people. In 1867 Nobel achieved his goal: he produced what he called dynamite динамит. Не later produced one of the first smokeless powders (порох). At the time of his death he controlled factories for the manufacture of explosives (взрывчатое вещество) in many parts of the world. In his will he wanted that the major portion of his money left became a fund for yearly prizes in his name. The prizes were to be given for merits (заслуги) in physics, chemistry, medicine and physiol­ogy, literature, and world peace. A prize in economics has been awarded since 1969.




I. Text A: «Welding», Text В: «Other types of welding»

II. Famous People of Science and Technology: James Prescott Joule.


Welding is a process when metal parts are joined to­gether by the application of heat, pressure, or a combi­nation of both. The processes of welding can be divided into two main groups:

• pressure welding, when the weld is achieved by pressure and

• heat welding, when the weld is achieved by heat. Heat welding is the most common welding process used today.

Nowadays welding is used instead of bolting and riv­eting in the construction of many types of structures, including bridges, buildings, and ships. It is also a basic process in the manufacture of machinery and in the mo­tor and aircraft industries. It is necessary almost in all productions where metals are used.

The welding process depends greatly on the proper­ties of the metals, the purpose of their application and the available equipment. Welding processes are clas­sified according to the sources of heat and pressure used.

The welding processes widely employed today include gas welding, arc welding, and resistance welding. Other joining processes are laser welding, and electron-beam welding.

Gas Welding

Gas welding is a non-pressure process using heat from a gas flame. The flame is applied directly to the metal edges to be joined and simultaneously to a filler metal in the form of wire or rod, called the welding rod, which is melted to the joint. Gas welding has the advantage of using equipment that is portable and does not require an electric power source. The surfaces to be welded and the welding rod are coated with flux, a fusible material that shields the material from air, which would result in a defective weld.

Arc Welding

Arc-welding is the most important welding process for joining steels. It requires a continuous supply of either direct or alternating electrical current. This current is used to create an electric arc, which generates enough heat to melt metal and create a weld.

Arc welding has several advantages over other weld­ing methods. Arc welding is faster because the concen­tration of heat is high. Also, fluxes are not necessary in certain methods of arc welding. The most widely used arc-welding processes are shielded metal arc, gas-tung­sten arc, gas-metal arc, and submerged arc.

Shielded Metal Arc

In shielded metal-arc welding, a metallic electrode, which conducts electricity, is coated with flux and con­nected to a source of electric current. The metal to be welded is connected to the other end of the same source of current. An electric arc is formed by touching the tip of the electrode to the metal and then drawing it away. The intense heat of the arc melts both parts to be welded and the point of the metal electrode, which supplies filler metal for the weld. This process is used mainly for weld­ing steels.


to join — соединять

pressure welding — сварка давлением

heat welding — сварка нагреванием

instead — вместо, взамен

bolting — скрепление болтами

riveting — клепка

basic — основной

to manufacture — изготовлять

to depend — зависеть от

purpose — цель

available — имеющийся в наличии

equipment — оборудование

source — источник

gas welding — газосварка

arc welding — электродуговая сварка

resistance welding — контактная сварка

laser welding — лазерная сварка

electron-beam welding — электронно-лучевая сварка

flame — пламя

edge — край

simultaneously — одновременно

filler — наполнитель

wire — проволока

rod — прут, стержень

to melt — плавить(ся)

joint — соединение, стык

advantage — преимущество

to require — требовать нуждаться

surface — поверхность

coated — покрытый

flux — флюс

fusible — плавкий

to shield — заслонять, защищать

touching — касание

tip — кончик

General understanding:

1. How can a process of welding be defined?

2. What are the two main groups of processes of welding?

3. How can we join metal parts together?

4. What is welding used for nowadays?

5. Where is welding necessary?

6. What do the welding processes of today include?

7. What are the principles of gas welding?

8. What kinds of welding can be used for joining steels?

9. What does arc welding require? 10. What is the difference between the arc welding and shielded-metal welding?

Exercise 6.1. Find the following words and word combinations in the text:

1. сварка давлением

2. тепловая сварка

3. болтовое (клепаное) соединение

4. процесс сварки

5. зависеть от свойств металлов

6. имеющееся оборудование

7. сварочный электрод

8. плавкий материал

9. дефектный сварной шов

10. непрерывная подача электрического тока

11. электрическая дуга

12. источник электрического тока



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