CW Talks checks in with Ford's Patrick Blanchard
The latest episode of CW Talks: The Composites Podcast has been posted and is ready for listening. This week, we check in with Patrick Blanchard, global technical leader –composites, at Ford Motor Co.
The latest episode of CW Talks: The Composites Podcast has been posted and is ready for listening. This week, we check in with Patrick Blanchard, global technical leader –composites, at Ford Motor Co. (Deerborn, MI, US).
Blanchard, who has worked at Ford for more than 20 years, talks about how composites manufacturing has changed, about the state of composites in high-volume automotive manufacturing and the difficulties these materials face getting onto production vehicles. He discusses the challenges of design optimization of composite parts and structures and what he thinks it will take for composites to really compete with legacy materials like aluminum and steel.
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The structural properties of composite materials are derived primarily from the fiber reinforcement. Fiber types, their manufacture, their uses and the end-market applications in which they find most use are described.
Tried-and-true materials thrive, but new approaches and new forms designed to process faster are entering the marketplace.
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.