As a rule, predicting the future should only be done in the privacy of your own mind, or if need be: verbally. Writing predictions down and publishing them is risky business, because they will inevitably come back to haunt and ridicule you. So we are not going to make any predictions here. Instead we will highlight a few noteworthy facts that should enable you to make your own predictions and expectations, and thus prepare for what is to come.
The fact that composites can be made to have a very high strength and stiffness to weight ratio is one of the main reasons why they are an ideal construction material for any means of transport: planes, trains, automobiles… composites can make them lighter, improving their performance, energy efficiency and eco-friendliness. So, we should see their use ever increasing in this field of technology, shouldn’t we?
Automotive: battling high strength steel
Take cars for example. In our article ‘Developing a new front undertray for the Jaguar F-type’ in the September/October 2016 issue we saw how more and more knowledge and technology is being put into automotive composites and their processing. The materials not only reduce weight, they also enable function integration and they can be tailored to their applications in ways impossible with metal..
This article appeared in the Jan/Feb issue of Reinforced Plastics.