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Composites Increase Efficiency

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Composites Increase Efficiency
Composites Increase Efficiency

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Lightweight construction has been around for a long time. In aircraft construction in particular, fuel consumption was reduced early by reducing weight and thus saving considerable costs. That is why there is an increasing focus on the material carbon, more precisely: on carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). The savings from this lightweight material were so great that they also offset its high costs. For a long time, however, it was a niche existence because aircraft are not manufactured in large numbers. The picture has changed a few years ago. Everyone is talking about lightweight construction in industry today. This is largely due to the fact that the automotive industry is the first to jump on the bandwagon that produces large quantities in series.

Today, the auto industry is the driver in terms of lightweight construction - not least because it is driven. As part of the EU's climate policy, it must drastically reduce the pollutant emissions from its cars. The corresponding EU regulation provides for a gradual reduction in CO 2 emissions by 2030. By 2020, CO 2 emissions will have to be limited to an average of 95 g / km. If the targets are not met, there are severe penalties.

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Reduce weight - save energy

In addition to the drives and aerodynamics, the goal can be achieved primarily through lighter bodies. If a part becomes lighter, it uses less energy during movement. As the lightest material, CFRP offers a sensible approach and a contribution to sustainability. However, the prerequisite is that the production process for a lighter component is optimally set up in terms of energy. In recent years, it has been possible to fully automate the manufacturing process for CFRP components and thus to make them suitable for large series production.

CFRP still has a certain handicap when it comes to recycling. If the carbon fibers are embedded in a thermosetting plastic, this composite is later difficult to disassemble into its original components. There is currently no recycling in the sense of a separation of the fibers from the plastic and their reuse in large-scale use. The pyrolysis required for this is simply still too expensive. The recycling problem is already being worked on in various ways.

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Article files and article links

Link: More news on composite materials

Link: News about lightweight construction

Link: At K 2016, lightweight construction, and especially composites, will be an important topic.

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