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Wind/Energy

Developing new solutions to multimaterial joining

Several recent IACMI partner projects focus on technology innovation related to challenges in multimaterial joining for the wind and automotive sectors.

Enabling a circular economy approach to advanced composites innovation, manufacturing and use, Part 2

IACMI chief technology officer Uday Vaidya reflects on IACMI’s role in improving composites’ recyclability and reusability.

Wind/Energy

Enabling a circular economy approach to advanced composites innovation, manufacturing and use, Part 1

In part 1 of a two-month column, IACMI chief technology officer Uday Vaidya reflects on the organization’s efforts to reduce the embodied energy of composites.

Filament Winding

IACMI: Driving innovation in the advanced composites industry

Since its start in 2015, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) has come a long way in its mission of advancing composites innovation. CTO Uday Vaidya reflects on the past five years.

Carbon Fibers

The Rubik’s Cube of working efficiently with different composite materials

Each member of an aerospace OEM’s supply chain works on a different side of the project, ultimately driving toward the same goal: a better composite-intensive aircraft.

Aerospace

Riding the rollercoaster that is the aerospace industry

The Boeing’s 787 and the Airbus A350 XWB plunged the commercial aerospace supply chain into a period of instability from which it has only just emerged. The next generation of commercial aircraft production promises to be just as tumultuous.

Natural Fibers

Natural fiber composites: What’s holding them back?

Natural fiber reinforcements have been available for some time, but factors such as compatibility with current processes and geographic availability continue to limit widespread use.

Aerospace

Can the aerospace industry regain its ability to "try"?

TPI Composites’ Steve Nolet reflects on the strides that composites in the aerospace industry have made in the past fifty years, while also wondering if the industry could regain the space race era desire to test limits.

Additive Manufacturing

3D printing is missing the third dimension

Emerging processes like continuous fiber manufacturing, in-situ consolidation and tool-less manufacturing are bringing composite 3D printing into the third dimension.

Aerospace

Aerospace outlook: A dynamic, evolving supply chain and market

With major new aircraft programs on the horizon, the aerospace industry is looking to reduce costs and increase efficiencies.

Automotive

Innovation in SMC: A long history and great potential

Manufacturer’s representative Steve Brown reflects on the history of sheet molding compound (SMC) development and lessons he has learned from working with companies through the process.

Compression Molding

Reinforced phenolics: Still disruptive after all these years

Fiber-reinforced phenolics could be a key enabler of a coming automotive industry disruption.

Glass Fibers

Thermoplastic composites in aerospace – the future looks bright

The real impediment to use of thermoplastic composites in critical control surfaces is an education gap.

Testing

Data infrastructure in composites manufacturing: A growing need

As more automation enters the fabrication process for composites, new data infrastructure is required to guide that automation.

Testing

Seeking and finding support within the composites industry

Russell Emanis of Innegra Technologies cites those who have helped him during his composites career as inspiration for doing the same for others.

Thermoplastics

Delivering the potential of thermoplastic composites

Why has the adoption of TPCs been slower than expected, and who is best placed to accelerate it?

Aerospace

Composites bucking the market trend in M&A

During 2015 and 2016, the composites industry saw such impressive activity in mergers and acquisitions, it was perhaps to be expected that, in 2017, we would see a dip in transaction levels, especially given the global regulatory uncertainty and the impact that might have on larger, more complex deals.

Composites for aging and disabled populations

  Contributing columnist Gary Talbott shares thoughts on how undervalued composites are as tools to help seniors and people with disabilities.

Aerospace

Seeing the C Series deal in context: Borderless bargaining in a global marketplace

On Oct. 16, Airbus SE (Toulouse, France) and Bombardier Inc. (Montreal, ON, Canada) jointly announced that they will become partners on the latter’s C Series aircraft program.

Nanomaterials

Graphene and CNTs: Commercialization after the hype

Graphene and CNT applications within the advanced composites sector are still at a relatively early stage of the commercialization process, but as the availability of materials or dispersions of consistent quality has increased, a number of composite materials and components are starting to incorporate these nanomaterials.

Molds/Tools

Additive manufacturing and composites: An update

Additive manufacturing has only begun to tap the potential available in the composite industry.

Compression Molding

Process automation: A model response to Trumponomics and Brexit?

Offshoring can’t go on forever and a significant trend toward reshoring is probably inevitable.

Current state of the M&A and capital markets – sell, sell, SELL!!

Current market conditions suggest that 2017 should see sustained M&A activity, despite the 2016 reduction.

Aerospace

Aerospace composites in “the more for less” era

The past decade was about innovation and new technology. The next will be about productivity.