for Automotive Applications
by C.D. Rudd
Government regulations in the United States and Europe continue to call for tighter restrictions on vehicle emissions. To meet these requirements, auto makers increasingly turn to new technologies. Among these are lightweight materials such as plastics and composites.
"Composites for Automotive Applications" covers the reasons for using composites in autos, the specific types of composites employed, the processing methods for both thermoset and thermoplastic matrix composites, and future trends for these materials. Although familiarity with automotive structures is necessary to get the most from this reference, it also makes a good starting point for those who want to learn about the use of composites in autos.
Ample statistics present a good overview of the market, including vehicle masses, the total volume of materials used in the industry, prices, suppliers and end users. It is interesting to see that as fuel economy standards increase, total vehicle mass and steel content decreases. One thing that should be included is addresses for the suppliers (at least cities and countries).
The main focus of the text is on materials and processes. E-glass remains the dominant composite reinforcement, but carbon fiber is becoming more popular as prices continue to decrease. New interest in natural fibers is being driven by environmental regulations and advances in processing.
Processing methods depend upon the matrix (thermoset or thermoplastic), the total volume to be produced, and the structural requirements. Specific applications of the materials and processes are interspersed throughout the text. More detailed coverage of the applications would give a better idea of how composites are actually used to an advantage over metals.
This report is part of the Rapra Review Reports Series. Twelve reports are published annually. In addition to the overview text, written by an industry expert, each report contains an extensive bibliography. In the case of "Automotive Applications," there are 436 references with full abstracts. The sources include trade magazines, technical journals and proceedings. Most articles can be ordered directly from Rapra, in either print or PDF format. A sixteen page subject index makes it easy to find references by topic.
Details: "Composites for Automotive Applications", by
C.D. Rudd, published by Rapra Technology Ltd., 2001, ISBN
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