In the last several years, polymer composites have been used heavily in the construction sector, such as to repair or design buildings and bridges, strengthen structures and as stand-alone components. About 30% of all polymers produced each year are used in the civil engineering and building industries. In addition to construction, polymer composites are also used in transportation (moulded parts, fuel and gas tanks), aerospace (satellites and aircraft structures), marine, biomedical (dental fixtures, prosthetic devices), electronics and in recreation industries. Such properties associated with polymer composites, in addition to its performance and applications, are continually being researched. Some topics examined in this book include the durability of the base components of FRP (fiber-reinforced polymer), specifically designed for civil engineering industry. The most common environmental agents, mostly responsible for the deterioration of the materials performance are also discussed.
Furthermore, the interfacial adhesion between nanotubes and polymers and the different strategies to promote adhesion are explored to help readers understand the potential and challenges faced by scientists and engineers regarding the use of carbon nanotubes as a reinforcement phase in nanocomposites. This book also reviews the state-of-the-art of syntactic foams and shape memory polymers. The underlying principle for self-heating is also analyzed. Other chapters examine the processing of polymers into antimicrobial materials using polymer/clay nanotechnology, the various methods of synthesis for polyaniline-based nanoparticle-hybrid materials, and the steps towards understanding the complex relationships between specific factors in the production of plastic composites.