PORTLAND, Ore.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Having undergone significant growth in production capacity and reduction in processing time in recent years, the carbon fiber industry now faces a variety of new opportunities and challenges which GOCarbonFiber will be addressed at the upcoming conference.
The automotive industry is seeing changes in use of carbon fiber. Antony Dodworth of Dodworth Design agrees ‘Today, faster resins and highly automated manufacturing processes are all reducing cost tremendously.’
Ensuring all materials are as lightweight as possible is a primary concern of aerospace manufacturing. Jens Hinrichsen of Aerospace Advisory Group explains that ‘composite applications will deliver a crucial contribution to achievements in reducing weight as well as aerodynamic friction drag, which is the overarching challenge of the future.’
Carbon fiber faces competition from other material types, such as aluminum and glass/aluminum hybrids. This is due to their relative familiar inspection and repair procedures, future enhancement of fatigue behaviour using bonding technologies, and elimination of widespread fatigue damage through fiber metal laminates.
Edward G Carson, CEO of GMC2 argues that the carbon fiber industry can learn from other sectors that have successfully transitioned from supplier to commodity, but warns ‘the commodity stage is affected by the increasing complexity of enhanced manufacturing productability’.
So what can the carbon fiber industry do to make the most of these new opportunities and combat the associated challenges and issues? Hinrichsen believes a range of enhancements are necessary, from materials through to research to improvements in inspections and repairs.
As production efficiencies improve and end users gain more experience in managing these structures, carbon fiber will continue to find new applications where it has performance advantages over traditional materials. Dodworth concludes ‘cars of the future will be multi-material, using the best material to meet volume and performance’.
Automotive and aerospace end users continue to back carbon fiber, you can hear from them and learn the best options available for lightweight, high strength applications by attending GOCarbonFiber this October 8 -10 December. The conference will provide further insight into future industry development and feature a range of key speakers from the carbon fiber industry.
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