What to Look For In Composites Manufacturers

Composite Manufacturing

Composites manufacturers are apart of our everyday lives whether we realize it or not. They are manufacturing composites for the cars we drive, the pipes in our homes, and much more. Composites offer their own set of benefits, be it their strength, design, lightweight, or durability and knowing what to look for in composite manufactures is just as beneficial!

Are you looking for more information on composites manufacturers and their production processes? Learn more about composites manufacturing through our guide below.

The Glass Fiber Market

Despite production disruptions after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the glass fiber market is still a booming business. In fact, in the composite manufacturing industry, glass fiber is one of the most important reinforcing materials. And glass fiber composites manufacturers work around the clock on stabilizing future production.

Three of the major segments for glass fiber are construction, transportation and pipe and tank. They represent a very large portion of the total volume. Causing composites manufacturers to increase automotive production, housing starts and positive growth in oil and gas as well as water and wastewater activities or infrastructure in the U.S.

As the glass fiber market evolves, so are its applications emerging into multiple end markets. The decisions to purchase in most of the markets are influenced by the cost of GFRP components. And manufacturers in this particular industry continue to drive competitive edge and growth to the fiberglass market.

The Automotive Market

Automotive composites only account for about 1 percent of the weight of an average vehicle. Composites manufacturers in the automotive market are optimistic about growth despite obstacles. They endure roadblocks to adoption of composites and is considered a niche market.

One of the challenges in the automotive market the painting processes specifically developed for metals. Composites manufacturers’ are forced to get creative with how they use materials and to consider other combinations of aluminum, steel, and composites. For example, using structural adhesives enables more lightweight innovation for the manufacturer.

The automotive market may have a challenging environment but composites are positioned well to gain share in the future. Composites offer a sufficient cost combination, weight, and performance. This is especially when designs are designed to take advantage of processing techniques and composite material.

The Carbon Fiber Market

The carbon fiber market continues to grow robustly. Aerospace, automotive and wind blade applications make up one-fifth of the market separately. While the remainder is molded plastics, marine, tooling, oil and gas, pressure vessels and other smaller end-use applications.

Composites manufacturing for this market means changing the entire engineering of an automobile to take full advantage of CFRP. Carbon fiber has the benefit of lowering the weight of assembly or specific automotive components. Lower body weights mean a car, for example, would require less suspension and smaller wheels, tires and a smaller engine.

The carbon fiber market and carbon fiber composites will continue to grow as the demand catches up to available capacity. The development of both thermoplastics and thermoset resin systems helps CFRPs with being largely adopted. In new automobile mass-market applications, the best applications used in the most efficient ways results in good volume production and lower costs.

The Aerospace Market

The aerospace industry gets a lot of support from universities and research institutes and has transformed from being metal-driven to composite-dominated. The growing demand as production increases in this industry makes it challenging for material suppliers. More specifically, the commercial aerospace industry faces issues with cost reduction, automation, and digitalization on carbon fiber materials.

Composites manufacturers in this market work to reduce costs and address other factors like structural design. For manufacturers, the improvement of designs is based on the lessons manufacturers take from production. Doing so can make lay-up patterns and tool design much less complicated.

Their work may also reduce assembly costs without interfering with maintenance. Through automating these steps in manufacturing, processes can then support quality improvements.

The European Market

The European market in the composites industry has been enjoying successful years of growth and continues to increase. The volume of GFRP that are manufactured in Europe reveals a trend. Thermoplastics, for example, are primarily used in the automobile industry and continues to grow stronger in production than other thermoset materials.

Continuous processing, however, is still the strongest growth area in production volume. This rings especially true in the pultrusion process. In fact, most of the continuous processes will use thermosetting materials.

Germany has the biggest GFRP production in Europe and has the strongest growth. As growth consolidates in places like France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, production has not slowed down in any other European country or region. Each country carries its own trends, causing corresponding growth rates to greatly differ.

Composites Manufacturers Are Here To Help

In every composites manufacturer setting, production methods and deadlines need to be taken seriously. You want a leading supplier of composites that’s within your region and offers customer service representatives that can assist with any questions or concerns. They should be capable of helping you determine the best and most effective materials for production as well as the best production methods.

Find the right composites manufacturers for you and your production needs today. SMI is dedicated to growing and developing its core capabilities, as well as remaining on the forefront of advancing technologies in composite manufacturing. For more on composites manufacturing and what to look for in manufacturers, check out our blog!

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