Usually most high-strength materials possess poor ductility. Such materials are extremely notch-sensitive and to attain their full tensile properties demand an extremely high surface finish, making them unsuitable for most practical situations. One method of using such materials would be to encase them in a softer, more ductile material. This is the basis of the composite material, in which the high-strength material, usually in the form of fibres, is surrounded by a cylinder or matrix of much lower modulus material.
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