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Composites within the Automotive Industry

27 July 2001


Various factors in the automotive sector have combined to create a favourable climate for the development of materials and fabrication techniques for polymer-based composite body panels and structures. This new report from Rapra Technology Limited, one of Europe’s leading independent plastics and rubber consultancy and publishing houses, reviews the use of composites in the automotive industry and describes the materials and processes used in the fabrication of components and structures.

‘Composites in Automotive Applications’ begins with an overview of the automotive market trends in Europe and North America. The author, Professor C.D. Rudd (Nottingham University) subsequently reviews the drivers for lightweight materials and the role of safety features as a marketing tool for new vehicles. He then looks at the cost of developing designs based on the large-scale use of composites. Further section covering materials discuss the quest for automotive weight reduction, focusing on the role of steel, aluminium and discontinuous fibre products. Materials covered in the report include thermosets (i.e. resins), vinyl esters, polyurethanes and thermoplastic resins concentrating on glass mat thermoplastics, polypropylene, polyamides, polyether ether ketone and polyphenylene sulphide. The following part of the report is devoted to the processing of thermoset matrix composites, looking at SMC compression moulding, liquid moulding, preforms, filament winding and pultrusion. The review concludes with a look at the future trends the automotive composites market.

Rapra Review Reports contain a state-of-the-art review, written by an acknowledged expert in the field together with several hundred of the most relevant references and abstracts identified from the Rapra Abstracts database. Thus they provide both a concise, readable introduction to the subject and the means of investigating key points in greater depth.






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