HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
News
Materials & Assembly

Automakers Drive Carbon Composites

NO RATINGS
< Previous Page 2 / 3 Next >
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/2
ratkinsonjr
User Rank
Gold
Re: Carbon composites probably inevitable
ratkinsonjr   9/12/2012 2:25:21 PM
NO RATINGS
The use of alternative materials such as carbon fiber or titanium, as stated in the article, is driven by fuel efficiency goals. to improve fuel efficiency, there are three main areas of research: reducing weight, reducing dissipative losses (frictional losses & aerodynamic drag) and improving powerplant efficiency. These can be complementary, as improvements in one area can provide benefits in the other areas. A titanium engine block, for example, would be lighter, but might also have a higher operating temperature, reducing the size of the radiator, which would reduce weight and frontal area, lowering drag.

The problem with titanium is the cost of separating the metal from the ore. Aluminum was once more expensive than gold, until the Hall-Herout process was developed to extract the pure metal from ore more cheaply. If a similar breakthough could be achieved with titanium, it would have much wider application as the cost would be much lower.

Similarly, if the process for manufacturing raw carbon fiber could be improved, and production rates increased through improved fabrication processes, the cost would drop, and more products could afford to take advantage of carbon fiber's unique material properties.

So it seems that the research efforts should focus on reducing material cost. Once the cost is low enough, as the saying goes: "If you build it, they will come!".

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Carbon composites probably inevitable
Rob Spiegel   9/12/2012 12:48:27 PM
NO RATINGS
I would imagine this effort will pay off, Ann. It's good to see this effort matched with an effort to produce a viable battery system for EVs and hybrids. That auto industry is on a tear.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Carbon composites probably inevitable
Ann R. Thryft   9/12/2012 11:54:52 AM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Chuck. This article was focused specifically on carbon composites. Both metals you mention are considered for aerospace--titanium especially is used in various places on aircraft--but are usually considered far too expensive (materials) and/or slow to produce to consider for mass manufacturing of high-volume cars. Titanium is sometimes used in high-end race cars.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Carbon composites probably inevitable
Charles Murray   9/11/2012 6:47:44 PM
NO RATINGS
Great, timely article, Ann, especially with the current push toward 54.5 mpg. Maybe I missed it in the article, but is anyone considering magnesium, titanium or other alternative metals?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Carbon composites probably inevitable
Ann R. Thryft   9/11/2012 3:30:33 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Rob. Progress isn't very fast, but it is being made. What's just happened recently is the formation of these consortia of major players with a lot of R&D dollars committed to making it happen. Costs will definitely come down once the processes and materials have been developed that will work in high volumes, since lower-cost materials and processes are among the top goals of all of these efforts.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Carbon composites probably inevitable
Rob Spiegel   9/11/2012 2:03:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Good overview of the auto industry's work on carbon composites, Ann. Seems it is inevitable that carbon composites will eventually be used in consumer autos. It will be interesting to see whether the costs come down once they hit high-volume manufacturing. 

<<  <  Page 2/2
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Visualization and virtual reality tools allow design engineers to build virtual prototypes that can be manipulated collaboratively. You can swap out materials and store data within the file.
Being in an incubator can be analogous to shopping in a “big box retailer.” You can find many things you need under one roof along with moral support to sustain and move your startup to a successful launch.
Scientists at four major universities in Europe have released a joint paper describing the use of light to put active materials into motion and to control that motion, producing lifelike mechanisms that may or may not contain living organisms, but can produce useful work.
Autodesk and Siemens PLM have reached an agreement to create seamless integration between their design software files.
Researchers have developed a lightweight, solar-energy-harvesting mesh of batteries that stretches, making it well-suited to wearable tech.
More:Blogs|News
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7 | 8 | 9


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2016 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service