There are a number of questions related to composite materials:

Many of these have the , , or tag. Should we create a more specific or tag for these?

In some cases, it would mean replacing the existing materials tag with the more specific tag because there are already five tags on the post. That is why I wanted to check first. Would it be more valuable to have everything under or in a more specific category?


I think it is a good idea. Since we can only put a maximum of five tags on each question, and (for now) search results are less than stellar, having specific tags could be helpful for finding relevant material. I'd estimate that if there are three questions to which a more specific tag would apply well, it should probably exist.

Now, if people don't know to try those search terms, perhaps they don't help. Perhaps they can even hurt if they mean that more general search terms miss results that would have been helpful because the system doesn't realize that a specific tag is a sub-set of a more general tag. In this case, the word material is part of the tag, so this problem is avoided.

Over the long term, in my opinion it is critical that SE develop a much better search system. It is unfortunate that tags don't seem to be nearly as useful as they could be.


Here is a list of composite material questions to establish the usefulness of such a tag:

What improvements have SpaceX made to their proprietary Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA-X) heat shield?

PICA is a composite material.

Why not build rockets out of composite materials?

How are composite materials used in satellites and rovers?

Were composite materials used on Soyuz and on Atlas launchers?

Is lead glass helpful in protecting against space radiation?

Lead glass is a composite material.

Are composites used by space programs?

How common is resin/epoxy sealing of space-faring equipment nowadays?

Epoxy is used with fibre as a composite for space applications.


I'm not voting "no" in particular, but did you actually look at your search results?

composites -"composite materials" is:question

  • 2 occurrences of "Scaled Composites", a company name.
  • There are some composites / polymers in use in space, for which foam has at least been investigated, but this is sort of not what I am looking for.
  • a question about price of structure which happens to be made of composites
  • Composite Overwrap Pressure Vessels - not a question about the materials.
  • a composite image
  • developing a rocket called Electron, a carbon composite rocket with a payload to orbit of 110 kilograms - no actual material discussion.
  • Consider how microfractures in the X-33 composite tank killed that project. - no actual material discussion.

plus 2 actual questions:

  • "Are composites used by space programs?*
  • What if we had a layer of graphene composite, custom-shaped to the size of the wearer? - sci-fi realm for now.

"composite materials" is:question

  • A total of 2 users asked 3 questions in total regarding these.

So, a total of 5 questions where the tag would actually apply. Is that enough? I withhold my vote.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I am aware there are only five. That is part of the reason I'm asking. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    May 11 '16 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, reviewing this again, there are possibly more that my queries didn't catch. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    May 25 '16 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ I would say 5 is enough. It is harder than it should be to find relevant material on SE sites, it is a weakness they haven't been able to address yet. More specific tags can help with that. $\endgroup$
    – kim holder
    Jul 24 '16 at 20:34

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