#TRENDS

Thermoplastics

Victrex, Daher, attain next-gen thermoplastic aircraft panel milestone

The developed panel is a 176-ply laminate, 32-millimeter-thick composite structure and uses Victrex AE 250 PAEK-based thermoplastic composites.   

Design/Simulation

Boom rolls out supersonic test aircraft XB-1

Highlighting a 71-foot-long fuselage, carbon fiber composite airframe and a host of other notable features, the demonstrator will now be headed for its ground test program and a 100% carbon-neutral flight test in 2021.

Aerospace

GE Aviation GE9X engine achieves FAA certification

Ten GE9X engines have been delivered to power Boeing’s four 777X flight test airplanes after completing just under 5,000 hours and 8,000 cycles for certification.

Glass Fibers

Continental Structural Plastics develops composite EV battery enclosures

CSP’ lightweight composite and multi-material battery covers meet stringent static, dynamic and regulatory requirements for automakers.   

Automotive

Plastic Omnium supplies composite hydrogen storage tanks for MissionH24 cars

Plastic Omnium’s Type IV overwrapped carbon fiber tanks will be subjected to highly demanding operating conditions in terms of speed, refueling frequency and temperature.

Aerospace

Airbus reveals new zero-emission concept aircraft

The three concepts — all codenamed ZEROe — each represent a different approach to achieving zero-emission flight. The aircraft could enter service by 2035.

Marine

Nemesis Yachts announces all-composite hydrofoil luxury yacht

Powered by a hydrogen-electric battery, solar panels and a wing sail, Nemesis One promises speed, comfort and sustainability.

Carbon Fibers

Designing the ultimate stand-up fishing kayak

Apex Watercraft’s new Tyr carbon fiber/epoxy prototype reimagines the typical kayak design and promises the highest performance possible.

Additive Manufacturing

Researchers introduce capillary-driven method for continuous fiber 3D printing

The LITA 3D printing system from the University of Delaware shows potential for in situ cure for high-performance carbon fiber composite parts.

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.

Carbon Fibers

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.

Consumer

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.

Defense

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.   

Glass Fibers

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.

Thermoplastics

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.