Materials advances key to fast success

Steps forward in materials technology are some of the most striking advances to be seen at the Autosport International show now on at the Birmingham NEC.

A Swedish company, Oxeon, represented at the show by a Danish firm, House of Composites, has invented a way of spreading out relatively inexpensive, thick tows of carbon fibre, to produce wide, flat, thin tapes that would normally require the use of more expensive, thin tows. In the words of Andreas Josefsson, Oxeon’s CEO, “We are increasing performance initially, but on large scale it would have an impact on costs also”.

Also aimed at driving down costs, Advanced Composites Group is able to offer composite pre-pregs that do not require the use of autoclaves, and several vendors are offering diamond like carbon coating service for camshafts and other wearing components for very affordable sums. Still on the subject of coatings, Zircotec in Didcot offers zirconium oxide or aluminium oxide coatings for exhaust manifolds that they claim can reduce air intake temperature by “typically” 30 deg C, equating to a 6 per cent enhancement of horsepower.

Tom Shelley

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