Composite Materials Features

Find in depth design and production features about composites. Our editors bring you a host of the latest thinking, innovation, materials views and opinions about new and exotic composites, how to design to get the most from them, and new methods to manufacture them as cost effectively as possible.

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Composites ready for mass production of auto industry

Composites and the automotive industry are yet to answer the volume question. So will thermoplastics allow lightweight structures be produced in their millions quickly and at the right price? James Bakewell finds out.   Read More


Leading composites innovations for 2015 announced

As Europe's biggest composites show approaches, we look at the innovations that have been making the headlines.  Read More


Is carbon fibre unravelling?

The use of carbon fibre is proliferating throughout industry. But is the supply chain ready to respond to the expected increase in demand? Or is the wonder material about to unravel?   Read More


Graphene: What does the future hold outside of the lab?

The 2010 Nobel Prize catapulted Graphene onto the world stage, and it's since captured the attention of the materials world. No doubt there are extraordinary opportunities.  Read More


Process brings colour to carbon

Carbon fibre has taken a leaf out of Henry Ford's book. You can have it in any colour you like, as long as it is black. By its very nature, carbon is black, and consequently as nice as any lacquered finish might look, if you want it in any other colour you have to resort to painting over the surface.  Read More


Composites set to benefit transportation industries

Introducing exotic materials into industries where metallic's have ruled is an ongoing challenge for the composites sector. The materials' inherent low-density has always been its best selling point.   Read More


F1 changes the world

The Science museum pays homage to the technology that has come out of Formula One. Justin Cunningham pays it a visit  Read More


Lightweight composite material could be a 'game changer'

An anonymous industrial estate on the outskirts of Basingstoke might not seem the place for the start of a revolution in lightweighting, but if the partnership between Composite Metal Technology (CMT) and C&J Antich & Sons lives up to expectations, then perhaps the town best known for its plethora of roundabouts will have another, more impressive, claim to fame.  Read More


Carbon fibre composites continue to proliferate throughout industry

Over the last decade, the civil aerospace industry has pioneered the manufacture of large composite components, taking the material from being considered exotic and destined for military and space bound applications, to the relative mainstream. And this has sparked interest from a number of different sectors including automotive and sporting equipment manufacturers looking to take out weight while improving strength.  Read More


Composites boost performance of track day car

Track day events have become increasingly popular in the last decade with many motorsport enthusiasts taking to the circuit to get a first hand taste of what it's like to travel around without a speed restriction. The trend has seen a number of mainstream manufacturers bring to market track-ready versions of production vehicles, to cater for individuals that want to drive cars optimised for the track.  Read More


Which type of composite material is right for you?

Make no mistake, composites are on the increase. The perception that the material is an exotic choice for engineers with big budgets is becoming more dated by the day. Composites are now filtering down from industries such as motorsport and aerospace, and finding more applications, in more industry sectors.  Read More


Virtually refined: The engineering success story behind the 2012 Olympics

The design and manufacture of Great Britain's gold medal winning bike helped athletes in the last three Olympic Games win medals.  Read More


Thermoplastics to revolutionaise the composites industry?

Nothing about composites is average or conventional. While offering some of the best strength/stiffness-to-weight ratios of any material, it is difficult to produce and inherently expensive.   Read More


They may be sustainable, but how good are flax and jute for the engineer?

You may think that the use of natural fibres like flax or jute in composite parts is all about ticking a box for environmental credentials. In many cases, you'd be right, but increasingly natural materials are finding applications where they can offer some distinct advantages.  Read More


Mass production of composites solved

Successfully utilising composite structures to produce vehicles requires substantial improvements in the tools used for end-to-end product development.   Read More


Woven or unwoven fibres?

With evermore applications being found for reinforced composites, increasing questions are being asked about the best methods of using fibre and resin in a matrix.   Read More


Designing composites into industry

In the second part of our Designing in Composites articles, we talk to experts from both the design and manufacture world about the opportunities for innovation. Justin Cunningham reports.   Read More


World's biggest clock tower features Gurit composites

There has been an awful lot of overlap of materials knowledge in the last few years between industries, particularly when it comes to composites. This is because these are the materials that everyone is still trying to fully exploit fully and engineers from all industries are coming together to share knowledge in an effort to make that happen.  Read More


Quantum tunnelling composites: Making a switch

There aren't many companies that can lay claim to an entire area of material science. UK company Peratech can. Paul Fanning finds out more.  Read More


Designing composites into industry

In the first of two articles, Engineering Materials talks to the UK's leading advocates of composite materials discussing the opportunites for innovation and find out why engineers should not be daunted. Justin Cunningham reports.  Read More


Composites step up: JEC 2012 review

This year's JEC show revealed a host of innovation stemming from the materials world. It is fair to say there was quite a positive buzz, with many not feeling the same economic pinch that has ravaged other sectors. In fact, the economy was hardly mentioned with many exhibitors boasting full order books and talking about the growing confidence in the engineering and manufacturing sector.  Read More


Show preview: JEC Europe

JEC Europe – Europe's largest composites exhibition – will open its doors in Paris, Porte de Versailles, on 27-29 March 2012.  Read More


Automotive brake disc provides high performance at lower cost

Manufacturers have long sought to improve the durability and performance of automotive brake discs, which are subject to tremendous temperature and pressure changes. The current range of brake discs are mostly made from cast iron, except for very high performance discs which are made up of a ceramic composite.  Read More


Advanced Engineering Show 2011: Adressing material shortcomings

The Advanced Engineering show held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) served up a host of innovative materials for engineers to assess and critique. The sheer number of materials available on the market has never been more varied. But there is no perfect material and it is up to engineers to find the best fit for the product or application at hand.  Read More


New materials at Composites show

The Composites Engineering Show 2011 will be showing some of the latest developments in this exciting sector. Paul Fanning reports.   Read More

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