By Amanda Jacob, Content Development Editor at Reinforced Plastics

The Composites Engineering Show in Birmingham this week highlighted a very active composites industry in the UK.

The co-location of the exhibition alongside shows on automotive and aerospace engineering, two hot topics for composites today, brought an added dimension the event. (The combined event, comprising five shows, attracted 12,000 visitors in total.)

Here are just a few highlights.

Bloodhound SSC – a jet and rocket powered car designed to reach speeds of 1000 mph. Substantial parts of the structure are constructed from carbon fibre composites. 
The Ultima GTR sports car's composite body panels are manufactured using Scott Bader resin and gel-coat.  P&M Aviation microlights set to be used in the Flying for Freedom expedition. The expedition, in  partnership with Help for Heroes, will be undertaken by 8 wounded and injured servicemen who will fly by microlight to the South Pole.
The High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HMVC)'s goal is to stimulate growth in the UK manufacturing sector. Its network includes the National Composites Centre. Drayton Racing Technologies' B12/69 EV – World Electric Land Speed Record holder for sub-999 kg vehicles with an average speed over 1 mile of 205.139 mph. The car features a carbon fibre monocoque with natural and recycled body panels.
Axon Automotive says its carbon fibre technology is set to be employed by "a major OEM." Expect more news on this in March 2014. The UK Composites Strategy is being updated in 2014. Composites UK, the National Composites Centre and the Composites Leadership Forum are asking for input from UK companies.