The Rise in Composite Material Use
Composite materials are increasing in popularity in both the automotive and aerospace industries. The rise in popularity of composites is due in part to companies advancing the design flexibility and decreasing the cost of them. These two factors could potentially open the door to new opportunities and begin the growth of a broader market for composite parts.
There are constraints to using composites though. They still have an increased cost over metals, and designing the perfect composite for specific applications can be elusive. As for the automotive side of composites, many leaders in the industry have come together to find solutions. They are focusing on decreasing cost of manufacturing composites while increasing flexibility of the designs. Although there is a high cycle time in production which increases costs, new approaches are being looked at to lower these costs.
When it comes to aircraft, it is more expensive to maintain components and structures that are made out of metal because they tend to show signs of long-term fatigue. Because of this, a large part of the cost to maintaining the equipment is from maintenance, operation, and repair (MRO), not the initial purchase price. However, composite structures maintain their strength, don’t decompose, and retain their original characteristics over a greater time frame.
In addition to composite equipment lasting longer, GE has designed carbon fiber composites to use in jet engine fan blades which result in a 5% decrease in fuel consumption when compared to similar engines. The blades will first be used with Boeing’s 777X aircraft.
Like the metal components before them, composite materials in the automotive and aerospace industries will still need repairs. When the need arises, Wichitech has the right products to get equipment back up and running. We offer safe, reliable, and value packed hot bond composite repair systems for all automotive and aerospace repairs. Contact us for more information on the products we offer for composite repairs.