Composite Materials News

The latest news from the composites industry including new material science, engineering breakthroughs, processing, production and manufacture.

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Wood-based carbon fibre powers model car

Swedish researchers from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and research groups, Innventia and Swerea, claim to have produced the world's first model car with a roof and battery made from wood-based carbon fibre.   Read More


Composite pipe long term testing facility commissioned

Haydale Composite Solutions (HCS) has commissioned a composite pipe testing facility with the support of Leicester City Council, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, the Regional Growth Fund and European Regional Development Fund.  Read More


Revolutionising nanomaterial production

A group of materials scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, led by Xudong Wang, a UW-Madison professor of materials science and engineering, and postdoctoral researcher Fei Wang, has developed a technique for creating two-dimensional sheets of compounds that do not naturally form such thin materials. It is said to be the first time such a technique has been successful.  Read More


DuPont invests in the first Zytel HTN polymer production facility in Europe

DuPont Performance Materials has invested in Zytel HTN PPA polymer capacity at its Uentrop facility in Germany. This will be the first Zytel HTN polymer production facility in Europe. Construction is already under way and the plant is expected to begin production in the summer of 2016.  Read More


Nano-coating makes coaxial cables lighter

Rice University scientists claim to have developed a way of coating common coaxial cables with a nanotube-based outer conductor that is claimed to make them 50% lighter.   Read More


TVR’s latest sports car will feature a fully carbon fibre structure

TVR has announced that carbon fibre construction options will be available when its new sports car goes on sale in 2017. The lightweight carbon fibre composite structure will be supplied by Gordon Murray Design, and has confirmed that an initial limited edition production run of 300 cars will feature carbon construction as standard.  Read More


Increasing capacity and reducing prices of graphene products

Graphenea has announced that improvements in process productivity will lead to reduced prices for its graphene products in 2016. In particular, the price of CVD graphene film will decrease in all categories by 23% on average.  Read More


Conductive concrete could keep roads safer in winter weather

University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) professor of civil engineering, Chris Tuan, has added steel shavings and carbon particles to a 200 square foot slab of concrete outside the Peter Kiewit Institute in nearby Omaha. Though the added ingredients constitute 20% of Prof Tuan's otherwise standard concrete mixture, they conduct enough electricity to melt ice and snow while remaining safe to the touch.  Read More


Metamaterials boost sensitivity of MRI machines

An international group of researchers has developed a technology that it claims can reduce Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning times by more than 50%, without changing the equipment. According to the researchers, this efficiency is achieved by placing a layer of metamaterials onto the bed of the scanner, which improves the signal-to-noise ratio.  Read More


Carbon fibre composites benefit latest BMW

Hexcel’s CFRP technology is being used in the BMW 7 Series to save weight and reinforce the metal shell of the B-pillar. Hexcel has supplied BMW with preforms made of unidirectional carbon prepreg set in various orientations and combined with adhesive. The prepreg is made from Hexcel’s HexPly M77 resin system that cures in one and a half minutes at 160°C.   Read More


Flexible composite heals itself while staying tough

Scientists at Rice University have developed an adaptive material that exhibits self-healing and reversible self-stiffening properties.  Read More


The glue sticking it to soldering and welding

MesoGlue is a startup company founded by Professor Hanchen Huang and Paul Elliott of Northeastern University and Professor Stephen Stagon from the University of North Florida. The company claims to have developed a glue made of metal that sets at room temperature and will bond nearly any flat surface with minimal pressure.   Read More


Fire resistant self-compacting concrete

When concrete is exposed to fire it chips and flakes – a process known as spalling. This effect is due to water trapped within the concrete vaporising. As more water vapour is produced the pressure within the concrete structure increases. In concrete structures, chips split away from ceilings, walls, and supporting pillars, reducing their load bearing capacity and increasing the risk of collapse in a burning building.  Read More


Making better planes and space shuttles from nanotube composites

Researchers from Binghamton University claim that boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) could help build better fighter planes and space shuttles.  Read More


Building a pilot plant for the production of specialist nanostructured powders

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and nine other European partners are collaborating in the design, scale-up and build of a high energy ball-mill (HEBM) pilot plant for the production and validation of innovative nanostructured powders. These advanced powders will be able to be used in a number of high value manufacturing applications such as cutting tools, medical implants and a range of aerospace and automotive components.  Read More


Graphene based epoxy resins for the aerospace industry

CPI spin out company Primary Dispersions Limited has announced promising results from a UK collaboration that aims to commercialise specialist graphene based epoxy resins for the aerospace industry.  Read More


Nanoparticles used to create ‘super strong’ magnesium

A ‘super strong’ yet light structural metal with an extremely high specific strength and modulus has been developed by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  Read More


Boron nanotubes are stronger than carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes are legendary in their strength - at least 30 times stronger than Kevlar by some estimates. When mixed with lightweight polymers such as plastics and epoxy resins, the tiny tubes reinforce the material, like the rebar in a block of concrete, promising lightweight and strong materials for airplanes, spaceships, cars and even sports equipment.  Read More


Metamaterial manipulates sound to improve acoustic imaging

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Duke University claim to have developed a metamaterial made of paper and aluminium that can manipulate acoustic waves to more than double the resolution of acoustic imaging, focus acoustic waves, and control the angles at which sound passes through the metamaterial.  Read More


Roads that de-ice themselves

Turkish researchers led by Seda Kizilel, associate professor Koç University's College of Engineering, are developing materials for use on roads that could spell the end for icy driving conditions.  Read More


Hybrid material could enable 4D adaptive devices

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering and Clemson University have modelled a hybrid material that they claim can reconfigure itself multiple times when exposed to light and heat, allowing for the creation of devices that not only adapt to their environment, but also display different behaviour in the presence of different stimuli.  Read More


Graphene takes flight

A partnership between The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (NGI) and a Chinese aviation company could take graphene composite-based planes a step closer to reality.  Read More


Researchers make world’s thinnest plates that can be picked up by hand

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania claim to have created the thinnest plates that can be picked up and manipulated by hand.  Read More


Storing electricity in paper

Researchers at Linköping University’s Laboratory of Organic Electronics have developed ‘power paper’. The material consists of nanocellulose and a conductive polymer and has the ability to store energy.   Read More


Composites UK reviews the developments of the CAP Scheme

Composites UK launched its Composites Assured Practitioner Scheme (CAP) in January 2015, which is working to produce standardised guidelines by which the competency of employees can be internally assessed across a range of technologies, processes and methodologies. This enables companies to identify skills gaps, develop a training matrix for their staff if required and better match project requirements to workforce capability. This should ultimately lead to reduced scrap rates and reduced costs.  Read More

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