The automotive industry is seeing changes in use of carbon fiber.
Ensuring all materials are as lightweight as possible is a primary concern of aerospace manufacturing.
Carbon fiber faces competition from other material types, such as aluminum and glass/aluminum hybrids. This is due to their relative familiar inspection and repair procedures, future enhancement of fatigue behaviour using bonding technologies, and elimination of widespread fatigue damage through fiber metal laminates.
Edward G Carson, CEO of GMC2 argues that the carbon fiber industry can learn from other sectors that have successfully transitioned from supplier to commodity, but warns ‘the commodity stage is affected by the increasing complexity of enhanced manufacturing productability’.
So what can the carbon fiber industry do to make the most of these new opportunities and combat the associated challenges and issues? Hinrichsen believes a range of enhancements are necessary, from materials through to research to improvements in inspections and repairs.
As production efficiencies improve and end users gain more experience in managing these structures, carbon fiber will continue to find new applications where it has performance advantages over traditional materials. Dodworth concludes ‘cars of the future will be multi-material, using the best material to meet volume and performance’.
Automotive and aerospace end users continue to back carbon fiber, you can hear from them and learn the best options available for lightweight, high strength applications by attending GOCarbonFiber this
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