Composite materials are being used in a growing range of applications, especially in aerospace, rail and commercial sectors, due to the increasing demand for materials to have a multitude of characteristics.
Using composites over traditional materials provides major weight savings, as well as other features such as temperature and chemical resistance, flexibility, durability and assembly requirements. Manufacturing composites involves making patterns and molding, and it’s a lot more complex than assembly flat sandwich panels, requiring a completely different skillset. The strength of the material comes from the fibres used, whereas the chemical properties come from the resin. This design flexibility allows composites to have precise performance properties to suit any given application, with typical product focuses on floors, ceilings and partitions.
In sectors where these advanced materials are finding a niche, having a partner with a dedicated composite team – with experience working with carbon, glass and aramid fabrics and extensive molding capabilities – is vital. This means a partner can provide the necessary expertise and advice to customers on what materials are available to them for a lightweight composite product and how they can achieve their goals, while still adhering to the relevant fire, smoke and toxicity standards. And, while it is important to continuously innovate and evolve composite products, looking at the bigger picture and the effect of manufacturing these products on the planet is imperative.
A commitment to sustainability, greener practices and products is becoming more and more significant to ensure that composites can make a difference in applications for years to come.