Editor's comment: Lighter, faster, further

CiMFeb21Feature - comment
CiMFeb21Feature - comment

The automotive industry is preparing for an electric vehicle (EV) future by establishing advanced lightweight composite research that will help deliver increased range, greater performance and a more dynamic drive.

EV technology plays a pivotal role in the Government’s recently published ‘10 point plan’, and the ability to protect our planet through a focus on implementing high performance and sustainable transport methods.

So what does this mean for the UK composites manufacturing industry? Various consortiums and R&D programmes are uniting to help overcome existing supply chain gaps in the industry, as well as offer support to both UK resin chemistry and fibre reinforcement development and bridging the gap between low volume prototype build, and full-scale EV production.

Increasing an EV’s range may require adding more battery weight which means a great connection to lightweight composite materials. It is the stimulus for the whole composites automotive industry. However, the path to adoption hasn’t been easy, and earning a seat at the table of an EV platform supply chain still comes down to meeting production rates and reducing costs.

Major automotive OEMs will require the certainty that car production line targets won’t be compromised on the road to lightweighting demands. For example, it’s important that the huge amounts of prepreg and resins will need to be stored, moved and cut, plus the amount of waste being generated will need to be managed and recycled too – a colossal undertaking. Entire factory footprints need to be redesigned and the SME tier suppliers will need to make huge investments in new equipment and storage - just to provide them with basics components.

The composites industry possesses some wonderful composite production processes, but if the lightweighting trade-off means longer cycle times, we could get all revved up with no place to go.

Mike Richardson, Editor

Related Articles
Most recent Articles

Southern Manufacturing 2023 brochure

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is the largest and longest-running annual engineering exhibition in the UK. Participation gives you an unparalleled opportunity to meet key buyers from some of the biggest names in industry. Download our sales pack and see how Southern Manufacturing can work for you.
1 day ago Literature

ICS celebrates a successful second year

The International Composites Summit (ICS), co-organised by Composites UK and The Fluency Business Group (Fluency), hosted its second successful exhibition in London on 21-22 September.
1 day ago News

Login / Sign up