Opportunities for Composites in Class A Body Panels

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If the future of composites in automotive applications is in multimaterialism, then low-density SMC must be in the mix for Class A body panels. Indeed, SMC has a long and checkered history in body panels, but with new materials, improved processing and a better understanding of how to manage temperature in a multimaterial structure, the future seems particularly promising. Read more.

No Fear in Being First – Evan Milberg and Scott Beckwith

In 2014, actor Hugh Grant said that there is always fear associated with new technology. He called that fear “the price of being first.” However, over the past few months, there has been a lot more excitement than fear in the composites and advanced materials industry when it comes to innovation.

All over the world, companies are introducing new products, engineers are discovering new fabrication processes, and incorporating a plethora of new ideas into novel research and never-before-seen end-use applications. In the last few months alone, some markets have seen an astounding number of game-changing developments.

On the research side of the equation, researchers and engineers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have laid claim as the first team to ever 3-D print aerospace-grade carbon fiber composites. According to Composites Manufacturing (CM) Magazine, the team patented a new chemistry that can cure the material in seconds instead of hours.

While 3-D printing is gaining traction in aerospace in the United States, across the world in Aachen, Germany, researchers are developing a different 3-D process known as “Fiber Spraying.” As the SAMPE Journal wrote in its latest issue, the novel process allows for the automated production of three-dimensional shaped preforms in just one step. During the process, textile rovings are cut to a defined length, oriented by an air jet in a fiber guiding unit and sprayed on an air permeable layup mold. According to researchers, 3-D Fiber Spraying could drastically cut preforming costs and cycle times.

In Braunschweig, four hours east of Aachen, researchers at the German Aerospace Center have also made significant progress toward achieving airworthiness for bonded composite joints, which are used to adjoin the majority of composites used for aeronautical applications. According to SAMPE, the researchers developed two new methods – a “hybrid bondline,” which is a combination of adhesive bonding and local thermoplastic welding; and the use of an array of small diameter pin elements as out-of-plane reinforcements. Both principles have proven successful in fatigue crack lap shear (CLS) tests, which could lead to more widespread acceptance.

There have also been a number of novel end-use applications. By now, you’ve probably heard about the rise of autonomous flying vehicles. But did you know that the first ones that may actually be market-ready are made with composites? CM Magazine recently reported that, according to Mattar al-Tayer, chief of Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Agency, a passenger-carrying drone made with carbon fiber and epoxy, known as the EHang 184, could begin regular operations in Dubai by as early as July of this year.

Autonomous vehicles made with composites are making their way to the race track as well. During Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, Roborace, a startup company devoted to creating autonomous vehicles, unveiled its Robocar, which is being called the world’s first self-driving electric racecar. Thanks to its frame, which is comprised primarily of carbon fiber composites, the Robocar weighs only 2,150 pounds and can reach a top speed of 200 mph. Roborace received composite expertise to build the car from UK-based Lentus Composites, which has experience manufacturing for Formula 1 racing applications.

If you’re excited to see the latest and greatest in composites innovation, there will be plenty of new products, processes and end use applications on display at CAMX 2017. Stay tuned for more information about the CAMX Innovation Park, new to this year’s Exhibit Hall. For more information, visit thecamx.org.

CAMX Registration and Housing is Now Open

Registration and housing are open for CAMX 2017, taking place September 11-14, 2017 in Orlando, FL. Make your plans to attend the largest, most comprehensive composites and advanced materials event for products, solutions, networking, and advanced industry thinking. CAMX is a must-attend event for you, your colleagues, and team. You don’t want to miss out on cutting edge innovations and exhibitions, education and best practices to advance your work and the composites and advanced materials industry, and unrivaled networking – all in one place. Register today!

And the Award Goes to…!

Enter the prestigious CAMX Award or the Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) presented at CAMX, and your company could join an elite group of award winners—leaders and visionaries within the composites and advanced materials community. The deadline for submissions is May 15. Act soon and enter your innovations for consideration.

For the CAMX Award, showcase your collaborative innovations and visionary concepts that bridge low-cost materials/high-volume applications with high-performance applications/low-volume materials. For the ACE, enter your most recent composite innovations in technology, design, manufacturing, and product development for this year’s ACE Awards hosted by ACMA.

The Exhibit Hall is Over 75% Sold

In its third year, nearly 400 companies have already committed to exhibit at CAMX 2017. View the Exhibitor Prospectus and reserve your space today. Prime booth space is still available for CAMX 2017 – the largest composites and advanced materials event in North America.

New Option for First-Time CAMX Exhibitors

Are you a first-time exhibitor at CAMX? Consider exhibiting in the New Exhibitor Station—an easy, cost-effective way to have a presence at CAMX while learning more about the Show and attendees. In addition to all of the benefits CAMX exhibitors receive, companies located in the New Exhibitor Station receive the following:

  • Customizable kiosk with your company branding and electricity for a laptop computer
  • A premier central location with great visibility and traffic, making it easy for attendees to locate
  • Advertisements of the New Exhibitor Station in the CAMX Connection eNewsletter and Onsite Guide.
  • First come, first served tables and chairs for small customer meetings

This new opportunity is only available to first-time exhibitors at CAMX. These kiosks are available for $2200, and include all items listed above. For more information on CAMX and exhibitor benefits and services, review the exhibitor prospectus or contact your CAMX sales representatives – Efren Pavon or Lynn Ishman.

Make a Splash at CAMX 2017: Sponsorship Opportunities Still Available

Sponsorship opportunities are available for CAMX 2017. Enhance your company’s exposure and secure a custom sponsorship option. Drive additional traffic to your booth and promote engagement and sales before, during, and after the show, with these exclusive sponsorship and advertising opportunities, which can be tailored to meet any investment level and company goal. Learn more here.