The development of new materials that are technically and economically viable is no small endeavor. The risks, costs, and time involved in research are usually so high that only governments or private consortia can bear them.
And so it has been with the trajectory of carbon fiber reinforced composites, which are capable of providing the lightweighting needed for fuel efficiency, and the mechanical strength required for safety. After a long development cycle, this material is now being widely used by the military, in commercial aircraft, and in the automotive industry.
Automotive Carbon Fiber Composites: From Evolution to Implementation, written by Dr. Jackie Rehkopf, senior researcher at Plasan Carbon Composites, gives a high-level summary on carbon reinforced fiber composites specific to the automotive industry in today’s market and its vision for the next 5 to 10 years. It begins with a comprehensive and easy-to-read overview of how composites started to be investigated as a possible alternative to metals, mostly driven by military demands, going on to cover:
Fiber and resin types for automotive applications
Machining and joining
Reclaiming and recycling of these materials, among other topics.
The title approaches the future with the realistic optimism of those who work with the challenges of creating new solutions to problems that will stay with us for some time to come: the need to conserve energy and make transportation ever more affordable without the loss of safety.
Carbon fiber reinforced composites have demonstrated real value in positively addressing these issues.
Automotive Carbon Fiber Composites: From Evolution to Implementation is an excellent guide for those involved in technical material strategy and research, as well as those who need to understand the basics of this subject to support better business decisions.