#TRENDS

Automotive

Demonstrating recyclable, bio-based autocomposites

The ECOXY research consortium recently developed a demonstrator automotive part constructed from recyclable flax fiber and a specialized bio-based epoxy.

Consumer

Australian start-up builds first recycled carbon fiber composite surfboard

Juc Surf uses 100% recycled carbon fiber scrap materials for a more sustainable surfboard that doesn’t sacrifice performance.

University of Kentucky, ORNL partner to turn coal into high-value carbon fiber

The $10 million research partnership will focus on creating energy-efficient and cost-effective processes for the manufacturing of carbon fiber.

Glass Fibers

AIT Bridges ships first composite bridge system to the West Coast

Comprised of 12 fiberglass composite arches, the bridge was spliced, transported and reassembled on-site, expediting the building process.

Carbon Fibers

CW's Carbon Fiber conference goes digital for 2020

The 2020 iteration of the annual Carbon Fiber conference, originally scheduled to take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., will be presented entirely digitally, online. The digital version of the conference, called Carbon Fiber NOW, will be presented Nov. 17-19.

Nanomaterials

HX5 thermoplastic nanocomposite presents an alternative to aluminum for space applications

Alpine Advanced Materials’ HX5 demonstrated retention of 96% mechanical performance with exposure to five million rads of gamma radiation.   

Thermoplastics

BASF, Toyota collaborate for 2021 Sienna lightweighting

The 2021 Toyota Sienna features third row free-standing seatbacks and a 30% weight reduction with BASF’s 35% glass-reinforced polyamide PA6 grade Ultramid.

Aerospace

Boom Supersonic, Rolls-Royce collaborate on Overture aircraft engine

The agreement aims to identify a propulsion system complementary to the supersonic aircraft.

Composites launch to Mars

NASA’s recently launched Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter are supported by numerous composite materials and structures.

Consumer

Designing a carbon fiber SMC brake lever

Germany-based Blackwave GmbH’s bicycle brake lever saves 35% of the weight for a comparable aluminum part.

Wind/Energy

UMaine develops collaborative floating offshore wind demo project

The floating offshore wind demonstration project will reduce Maine’s overdependence on imported fossil fuels, produce more than $150 million in total economic output and create hundreds of jobs.

Materials

ELG Carbon Fibre, Aerocircular N.V. develop closed-loop recycling for EoL aircraft

The initiative estimates that only one-tenth of the energy typically required when producing virgin carbon fiber will be used.

Axiom Materials expands CMC product portfolio under technology license

Axiom’s expansion into c/SiC and SiC/SiC composite intermediates is licensed under the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), NITE and more.

Carbon Fibers

Mitsubishi Chemical plans to acquire European carbon fiber recycling companies

Plans to acquire German companies CFK and carboNXT will further MCC’s recycling initiative in the carbon fiber composites industry.

Aerospace

Leonardo and CETMA: disrupting composites for lower cost and environmental impact

Italian OEM and tier supplier Leonardo works with CETMA R&D to develop new composite materials, machines and processes, including induction welding for in-situ consolidation of thermoplastic composites.

Design/Simulation

German Bionic unveils fourth-generation carbon fiber exoskeleton

The Cray X features a frame made with SGL Carbon carbon fiber and aids workers when lifting loads of up to 28 kilograms for up to eight hours.

Thermoplastics

Electroimpact’s 6-axis continuous fiber 3D printer, one part of future multi-functional manufacturing cell

The Scalable Composite Robotic Additive Manufacturing (SCRAM) system 3D prints with continuous fiber tape or filament and seamlessly swaps end effectors for large-scale pellet deposition and CNC machining.

Thermoplastics

Arevo launches direct-to-customer 3D-printed bicycle

The Superstrata brand features a fully unibody carbon fiber/polyamide frame manufactured using Arevo’s direct deposition additive manufacturing process.

ATL/AFP

Conbility: Mass production of composite tape laminates

RWTH Aachen spin-off scales up production for low-cost, in-situ consolidated composites as inserts for lighter, cheaper injection-molded parts.

Carbon Fibers

Developing a linerless, all-composite, spherical cryotank

Infinite Composites Technologies’ Type V pressure vessel for storing cryogenic space launch vehicle propellants shows promise for eliminating elusive microcracking issues.

Automotive

Swinburne University and CSIRO's Industry 4.0 Testlab for Composite Additive Manufacturing 

Australia and Germany collaborate to build Composites 4.0 production line for competitive advantage in next-gen manufacturing and workforce.

Processes

Surface treatment for adhesive bonding: Thermoset vs. thermoplastic composites

According to BTG Labs, common surface treatment methods like abrasion and plasma treatment work best for different materials. 

Construction

Carbon fiber-reinforced concrete accelerates in Germany

TU Dresden and C3 – Carbon Concrete Composite demonstrator aims to reduce concrete material use by 50% and CO2 emissions by up to 70%; Hitexbau touts high-volume automated production for carbon fiber textile grids.

Toray reduces carbon fiber and prepreg production

Toray will suspend operations in Spartanburg, S.C., U.S., and reduce prepreg capacity in Tacoma, Wash., U.S.