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Huntsman Advanced Materials (Huntsman) is releasing the results of its latest comprehensive survey into the use of composites in the automotive industry, which gauges customer needs and attitudes towards light weighting materials and technologies.
Conducting in-depth interviews across the world with more than 160 respondents, including automotive suppliers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and engineers, Huntsman explains that the research identifies future industry trends and ensures Huntsman’s new product development and innovation programmes are tailored to meet its customers’ needs.
The results show that CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency regulations are key drivers for the use of lighter weight materials, but affordability and the long-term availability of carbon fibre are stopping more manufacturers from using composites in mass production.
According to respondents, fibre-reinforced composites will become more widely adopted by the premium and sports automotive sector over the next ten years and will likely reach mainstream car segments in the longer term. The development of electronic cars will also influence the use of composites, as manufacturers look to develop lightweight and more energy-efficient models.
“Carrying out this survey was a key investment into understanding the dynamics of the automotive industry, and allowed us to gain valuable insights that can channel our innovation funnel towards technical solutions needed by the industry. Thanks to the detailed responses of our customers, we can better understand the drivers and challenges that they face in using composites. For example, according to the results, a lack of understanding around how best to design with composites is an important factor in fibre-reinforced plastic composites not reaching mass production scale,” comments Nastassja Kelley, Marketing Director EMEAI, at Huntsman Advanced Materials. “By gaining a deeper knowledge of what the sector is looking for, we can look at shaping our new product development strategy and the guidance we’re able to offer, to ultimately feed our innovation pipeline.”
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