Why Composite Materials Are Taking Over the Automotive Industry
Since the inception of the car in the 19th century, to say that the automotive industry has seen substantial developments would be a massive understatement. In fact, it seems like car innovations are changing on a yearly, if not biyearly, basis as new models and technologies are introduced.
As car styles and technologies change, so do the materials used to create them. More than 60 major automotive brands in the world, and more are relying on composite materials for effective automotive manufacturing.
After years of testing, composite materials may be the future of the automotive industry. Considering the quality assurance, safety, and efficiency these materials bring, it's safe to say that composite materials in automotive industry are here to stay for a long time.
There are many benefits to composite materials, and here is how the automotive industry uses them to their advantage.
Replacement of Steel
Efficiency has been a critical factor when manufacturing cars, and replacing steel have been one of the significant obstacles getting in the way of productivity in car manufacturing. For over five years now, manufacturers have been racing to swap the steel in cars to more composite materials. These materials consist of a flexible plastic polymer and stiff carbons. The fibre's properties create a simulation and allow engineers to rearrange the material's performance. With this replacement, engineers can use it for its best purpose.
Over time, harsh chemicals can rust and cause corrosion on your car, but that is where composite materials step in. With composites, your vehicle has an added layer of protection from any short-term decay. Composites are known not to rust or corrode, which is what cars need, especially in areas that experience all four seasons.
You want your automobile to be durable, and composites can contribute to your car's resistance and lifespan. It is one of the most robust materials globally due to its density, and when you combine specific resins and reinforcements, you can create a formula to meet your particular strength requirements.
Composites have various uses and shapes, making them flexible with their design and a high contender in the automotive industry. Since composites are a blend, they can be manufactured to meet any specific requirements. As a result, you can create new shapes and designs for the future of cars. Composites can be molded into numerous shapes without losings their strength and durability.
In 1975, there were 44,525 car deaths in the USA. Compare this to 2019, where only a total of 36,096 had died. While obviously tragic, this statistic suggests progress. When looking at the numbers from the past 45 years, safety has become a topic of conversation for every car manufacturer. With composite materials, cars weigh less than ever, coincidentally making the cars overall safer.
When a car replaces its traditional steel components, it reduces its weight by up to 50%. The weight reduction eventually minimizes the vehicle's fuel consumption. Lightweight materials carry additional advanced safety devices while integrating electronic systems without increasing the weight of the car.
As we as a society work together to find the best eco-friendly, cost-effective and safe vehicle, the automotive industry as a whole will rely on composite materials to help provide us with these safe automotive solutions.