Composites end markets: Aerospace (2023)

With COVID in the past and passengers flying again, commercial aircraft production is ramping up. The aerocomposites supply chain is busy developing new M&P for an approaching next-generation aircraft program.


Composites end markets: Boatbuilding and marine (2023)

While the recreational boating market is challenged to meet record-breaking sales in 2020 and 2021, composite materials and design innovation are abound, with a noticeable focus on 3D printing, biomaterials and sustainability.


Composites end markets: Energy (2023)

Composites are used widely in oil/gas, wind and other renewable energy applications. Despite market challenges, growth potential and innovation for composites continue.


Composites end markets: Automotive (2023)

Electrification and a focus on sustainability lead to opportunities and innovations in composites, from battery enclosures to structural components and more.


Composites end markets: Civil infrastructure (2023)

Growth and potential grow for wider composites adoption in bridges, rebar and other concrete reinforcement and other infrastructure applications and repair.

Carbon Fibers

Drawing design cues from nature: Designing for biomimetic composites, Part 2

As biomimetic design continues to inform composites manufacturing, technologies like 3D printing, tailored fiber placement, braiding and filament winding prove strong candidates for making these structures a reality.  


The state of recycled carbon fiber

As the need for carbon fiber rises, can recycling fill the gap?

Glass Fibers

Metal AM advances in composite tooling, Part 1

Multiple metal additive technologies are gaining market acceptance and interest for composite tooling used in processes ranging from short-fiber injection to autoclave-cure prepreg.


Drawing design cues from nature: Designing for biomimetic composites, Part 1

Biomimicry is an interdisciplinary methodology that can inform composites design and manufacturing via use of more effective and sustainable materials, structural fabrication and technological practices.    


Thermoplastic composites welding advances for more sustainable airframes

Multiple demonstrators help various welding technologies approach TRL 6 in the quest for lighter weight, lower cost.

Mass, cost, durability improvements: EV battery enclosures, Part 2

As interest grows in composite battery covers and trays, composite materials suppliers work to meet current and future needs of automakers, battery module producers.


Price, performance, protection: EV battery enclosures, Part 1

Composite technologies are growing in use as suppliers continue efforts to meet more demanding requirements for EV battery enclosures.  


Carbon fiber in pressure vessels for hydrogen

The emerging H2 economy drives tank development for aircraft, ships and gas transport.


Moving toward next-generation wind blade recycling

Suppliers, fabricators and OEMs across the composite wind blade supply chain ramp up existing technologies, develop better reclamation methods and design more recyclable wind blades.


Cycling forward with bike frame materials and processes

Fine-tuning of conventional materials and processes characterizes today’s CFRP bicycle frame manufacturing, whether in the large factories of Asia or at reshored facilities in North America and Europe. Thermoplastic resins and automated processes are on the horizon, though likely years away from high-volume production levels.


Sensors: Data for next-gen composites manufacturing

In the quest for sustainability, sensors are reducing cycle times, energy use and waste, automating closed-loop process control and increasing knowledge to open new possibilities for intelligent manufacturing and structures.


Laser bondline inspection becomes reality

One of the Holy Grails of composites manufacturing has been reliable verification of adhesive bondline strength integrity. A technology that does just that has arrived.


Composites end markets: Utility infrastructure (2022)

Durability, corrosion resistance and a variety of other factors make composite materials an increasingly popular material for a variety of utility infrastructure applications, from utility poles to trench covers.


Composites end markets: Sports and recreation (2022)

Composites use continues to grow across sporting goods markets, thanks to rising consumer demands and new material developments.


Composites end markets: Boatbuilding and marine (2022)

Boat sales remain high during the pandemic, with carbon and glass fiber still in high demand. 3D printing, biomaterials and recycling move forward while hydrogen propulsion grows rapidly with the pursuit of zero emissions.

2021 CW Top Shops highlights strengths of top composites facilities

CW learned from some of this year’s designated Top Shops about what makes facilities stand out, from diverse capabilities to Industry 4.0 and sustainability.

Hydrogen is poised to fuel composites growth, Part 2

Potential for Type IV composite tanks in H2 refueling stations and distribution, plus targeted cost reductions and emerging technologies for tank recertification and monitoring.


Refrigerated railcar floor expands composites horizons

TrinityRail, in an effort to update a 20-year-old design, seizes the opportunity to apply composites in a structural application in its refrigerated railcar. It’s a first for the rail and composites industry.


Hydrogen is poised to fuel composites growth, Part 1

Applications abound for composite tanks to store compressed H2 gas, but challenges exist in cost, size, efficiency and limited carbon fiber capacity.

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