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BSI: Composite Materials in Transport

  • Tuesday, 17th September 2019
  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

BSI has published its report ‘Developing a UK Standards Strategy for the Uptake of Light-Weight Materials by the Transport Industry’, funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Transport companies state cost and confidence as the biggest barriers to the new application of composite materials in the industry, and suggest that use of the light-weight materials can be boosted with the modification of existing standards, finds new report published by BSI, the business improvement company.

The new report, ‘Developing a UK Standards Strategy for the Uptake of Light-Weight Materials by the Transport Industry’, found that companies recognise that standards can support the use of composites by promoting consumer confidence but posed that changes and modifications to current standards would be timely and much needed. 

It identifies the priority modifications and additions needed for regulations, codes and standards to support the use of composites in the transport sector, specifically aerospace, automotive, marine and rail.

The modifications have been recommended following extensive interviews with stakeholders from across all four transport sectors. Common requirements for the sector include quality assurance and data generation and sharing. Battery enclosures were highlighted by the aerospace and automotive sectors as their key requirements. Amongst the list of priority modifications, the automotive sector also indicated a need for guidance on design for manufacturing and the marine sector signposted that life cycle analysis is required.

Nick Fleming, Head of Transport and Mobility at BSI said, “Composite material has proven itself to have environmental and cost benefits in several industries. The transport sector is next in line to adopt the new technology and will need to make sure the performance of materials continues to meet with its safety expectations.”

“The findings from the report provide a clear route to help support the transport sector in its shift towards the use of composite materials and how it might unlock the market potential as we move towards a low-carbon future mobility.”  

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) funded BSI to investigate where standards and standards related activity could help enable the uptake of light-weight materials, namely composites, in the transport industry. It builds on the 2016 UK Composites Strategy which found that one barrier for introducing new materials into new markets was the requirement for suitable regulations, codes and standards.

The report is available for download on BSI website.

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