The Trends in Composite Material Use.

CSA Engineering Gold Coast like other Structural Engineers expect a projected surge in the materials industry, composites have seen a tremendous growth in the past decade. With a varied range of applications from the Electronics Industry to Aerospace applications. Composites are bound to be used in almost every field where property trade-offs are required. Composites are being considered throughout the world in many industries. Due to their excellent mechanical properties. The use of composites will be a clear choice in many instances. Material selection in others will depend on factors such as working lifetime requirements, number of items to be produced, complexity of product shape. As well as possible savings in assembly costs. Also consideration on the experience and skills of the designer. To tap into the optimum potential of composites. In some instances, best results may be achieved through the use of composites in conjunction with traditional materials.

What are Composite Materials

Composites, in general, are defined as a combination of two materials. The matrix binds like a glue, while the fibre carries the load. Combined, they provide a material with a mix of properties of both materials.

The evolution of the use of Composites in the Automobile Industry began in motorsport. The exclusive segment automobiles purely based on performance requirement. Amidst the increased regulations in the automobile industry in terms of emissions and major industry goal. Towards having a fuel-efficient vehicle, companies have started working on developing products which are both light in weight and contribute towards performance parameters. This consequently contributes towards making the vehicle fuel efficient.

Fibre metal laminates (FML) are another class of hybrid materials. Fibre metal laminates use metals such as aluminium and steel embedded with fibres. With aluminium forming the outer skin and fibres contributing to the core of the material. The fibre metal laminates have been widely used in the Aerospace Industry in doors and wing panels. The applications in the Automotive Industry are wide including their usage in doors which can be made of FML, for the hood of the car and so on.

Additionally, as Carbon fibres are only one fifth the density of steel, they perform better in terms of weight to strength ratio. One major advantage of Carbon Fibre is its unique ability to resist corrosion and its prolonged fatigue cycle endurance. The higher stiffness of the carbon fibre and ensures are lighter weighing, stiffer, stronger and a more durable structure.

Composites are light in weight compared to most and metals. Their lightness is important in automobiles and aircraft for example. Where less weight means better fuel efficiency. Designers of airplanes are greatly concerned with weight, since reducing a craft’s weight reduces the amount of fuel it needs, and increases the speeds it can reach. This change in direction to composites is now becoming very important as the automobile industry is also moving towards energy efficiency. Lower vehicle weight means less energy is required for movement.

From a financial viewpoint, the manufacturing of steel is less expensive than the manufacturing of composites. In the long run, with increased maintenance costs and rising fuel prices, an automobile which is fuel efficient coupled with less maintenance requirement is the need in the society. The total cost of ownership when viewed in relation to the life cycle of the vehicle is less than that of metallic structures.

Some of the major European automobile manufacturers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Koenigsegg, and many more have started including composites into the frames of their cars.

CSA Engineering Gold Coast comes with a wealth of experience in Composite Design Modelling and Manufacturing with members who have previously worked for aerospace giants such as Boeing and Airbus.

With the knowledge gained, CSA Engineering Gold Coast design and analyse every product in accordance with the set standards. Along with risk assessment for the product to perform throughout its serviceable life span.

CSA EngineeringComposite Structures Australia servicing South East Queensland
Noel Singh (Engineering Fellow with Engineers Australia), RPEQ
Phone Noel direct : 0452 292 355

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