In this article, we learn what is automotive composites, the uses of automotive composites, and the advantages of automotive composites.
What is Automotive Composites?
The automotive composites material is a chemical composition of two (or more) different phases and an insoluble substance. These insoluble materials are good-performing fibers such as glass and carbon contained in matrix materials such as epoxy polymers. Composite materials formed in this way, when bonded together, provide enhanced properties relative to the properties of the individual materials themselves.
These composites are known as “Automotive Composites” after they have been deployed to cars and vehicles. When used in the manufacture of vehicles such as buses, trucks, trolleys, and cars, composites offer increased strength and stiffness. The reason is; composites are 60% lighter than steel or iron.
Uses of Automotive Composites
The automotive industry has two very different parts. A mass production department and a specialized area to produce small numbers of modified or finished vehicles. Each challenge is different, and this is reflected in the way carmakers approach the use of composites.
In high-volume manufacturing, most of the costs are in the capital plants needed for manufacturing, so once you get the equipment you need and get it up and running, it’s very costly to redesign the components. This, of course, makes the industry very conservative and encourages extensive prototype testing in both the real and simulated environments of the new system before any investment is made.
However, small-volume production is a little less resistant to material changes because the manufacturing process is much less capital-intensive.
Uses of Natural Fibers In Automotive Composites
Benefits of using natural fiber composites over carbon-based and traditional plastic composites – far beyond the carbon footprint. It is safer to manufacture natural fiber composites. With its low density and the potential to reduce weight by up to 30%, it is the ideal insulation for thermal and acoustic applications. Because of the lightweight of natural fiber composites, benefits for the end consumer include improved fuel economy.
The production of plant-based plastics, polymers, and composites has grown in popularity over the last few years as consumers have changed. High-quality polymers have two unique sales offers over traditional materials. They are more sustainable because they are non-toxic in production and are partially or wholly derived from plant-based renewable resources. While as durable and tough as their carbon-based counterparts, natural fiber composites offer significantly more strength, while not providing a superior weight-to-strength ratio, while offering significantly greater strength. It tends to be lighter.
Advantages of Automotive Composites
The main advantages that composite materials offer for automotive applications are cost savings, weight savings, and recyclability. Composite materials offer many structural and weight advantages over traditional steel and injection-molded automotive parts.
Compared to thermoset-based composites, thermoplastics offer significant advantages to the automotive industry: zero solvent emissions, reduced material scrap, improved work safety conditions, and elimination of painting processes (high molecular weight). Eliminating tedious production steps (through the use of polymer surface films), automation steps, and ultimately a significant improvement in recyclability.