The manufacturing of composite materials is changing the landscape of the industry. How? Manufacturers are coming up with new ways to use composites in a range of products.
Composite manufacturing for transportation, energy, and water will get a boost after the US Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, according to the American Composites Manufacturers Association. Composites will be a preferred material for the projects as they offer a long lifecycle.
So, what is composite manufacturing? What are composites made from? And how are they used in the aerospace and medical industries today?
What Is Composite Manufacturing?
What are composites? Composites combine two materials to make a product stronger and more durable. They contain a matrix, which is a base material that binds a reinforcing material. Some composite materials, such as braided composites, are replacing traditional metals like steel.
The manufacturing of composite materials is becoming more popular as industries find uses for more durable products. For example, composite decking manufacturers combine wood and plastic in planks. These planks do not need to be sealed, painted, or stained.
Among the most common composites are those made with carbon fiber. Carbon fiber composites are considered the most efficient. Why?
Carbon fiber composites comprise bonded carbon atoms that are strong and stiff. They offer good chemical resistance. They combine low weight with tolerance for high temperatures. Carbon fiber has a weight-to-strength ratio that is double that of aluminum.
These qualities have seen manufacturing companies use carbon fiber in a variety of industries. For instance, including aerospace, defense, automotive, medicine, and sports.
Manufacturing of Composite Materials in Aerospace
Composite tooling manufacturers have developed products for the aerospace industry in response to the high demand for durable, lightweight components.
Commercial planes can use carbon fiber to reduce their weight. That in turn cuts their fuel consumption. This is especially important in light of an increase in regulations to reduce carbon emissions. It also reduces the cost of fuel and components.
Carbon fiber composites are also used in spacecraft, air taxis, and 3D printed parts.
Composite Manufacturing in Medicine
The medical industry has also adopted carbon fiber composites. Why? They can make medical devices last longer.
Composite manufacturing companies first used carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) in aerospace and automotive parts. They have expanded into using CFRPs for medical applications. This is because they work better than traditional metals in some devices.
Carbon fiber surgical implants help patients to heal faster from injuries. They also offer radiolucency. This gives surgeons a clear view of a fracture during and after surgery.
Learn More About Composites for Your Business
The manufacturing of composite materials is at the forefront of aerospace and medicine. Therefore, making lightweight and durability of carbon fiber a clear leader in composite manufacturing.
At SMI Composites, we manufacture a variety of composite components. We produce all our own tools in-house, which is uncommon in the industry. This allows us exceptional quality control.
So, interested in how you can use carbon fiber composites in your business? Contact us to learn more.