The present century has witnessed composite materials to be the most promising and shrewd material for a variety of applications. Among them fiber (natural or synthetic) reinforced composites (FRCs) have gained significant interest owing to the high demand for lightweight materials with high strength for specific applications. The advantages of FRCs include high strength to weight ratio, high durability and stiffness, good damping behavior, flexural strength and most importantly good resistance to corrosion, wear, impact and fire (depending on the matrix and fiber reinforcement). The presence of such wide array of properties for FRCs have led to them being used extensively in a number of applications including mechanical, aerospace, automotive, marine, sports, biomedical, construction etc. The past decades have visualized exciting research in the area of FRC's which helped to unveil the properties of these exciting materials further and consign them in appropriate applications. These FRCs have shown outstanding performance in different fields of applications and hence have been promoted by researchers as promising alternatives to solitary metals and alloys. The global demand for fiber reinforced composites is expected to grow at a faster pace with the aerospace industry occupying the top position in the years to come. Major driving factors for the rising demand is none other than the high strength to weight ratio, corrosion resistance, energy absorption on impact, moisture and chemical resistance possessed by these materials. This chapter gives a general overview on the characteristics and processing of FRC's that are systematically outlined in this book.
J. S. Jayan, Appukuttan, S., Wilson, R., Kuruvilla Joseph, George, G., and Oksman, K., “An introduction to fiber reinforced composite materials”, in Fiber Reinforced Composites, Kuruvilla Joseph, Oksman, K., George, G., Wilson, R., and Dr. Saritha A., Eds. Woodhead Publishing, 2021, pp. 1-24.