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Composites Paving the Way to Lighter Automobiles and Fleets

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As electric vehicles rise in popularity, the look and utility of cars continues to evolve. Electric vehicles are designed to eliminate the need for fuel while combating emissions; however, manufacturers must bear in mind the weight of the battery. As a result, lightweight composites are at the forefront for this industry, and with those materials comes the need for MVP equipment. This increase in demand for composite application equipment is leading vehicle manufacturers to search for more providers. MVP, as a composite application equipment manufacturer, is poised to deliver best-in-quality products to this growing market segment.

The Autonomous Future of Composites

In recent years, there have been several developments in autonomous vehicles for transportation. The self-driving technology introduced by Tesla is a major step forward for complete autonomous operation, and whether we like it or not, autonomous transportation is quickly approaching. Composites play a large role in the future of autonomous driving. With little room for advancement in lithium-ion technology and its power density, batteries will always remain heavy. This creates opportunities for lightweight composites to help extend driving range—in autonomous vehicles, the power source is stored in the floor, and the lack of a driver creates more interior design space.

The newfound space in autonomous transportation could see passengers facing one another, and bidirectional travel. Vehicles may even feature multiple screen options, allowing for better entertainment and even flexibility for students to log on and work on their homework on the way home from school. Lightweight composites provide styling improvements that metals simply can’t—a modern look with a “soft-to-the-touch” appearance.

Fleet Improvements

Generally, the less a vehicle weighs, the better fuel efficiency it gets. Fleets are looking at new, lighter-weight materials to further boost their fuel economy and reduce the number of parts required to assemble a vehicle. With the use of non-corrosive composite materials, this will improve efficiency and extend the life of the fleet. 

Carbon-Fiber Laminates

Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CRFP) composites are the next big thing in making cars lighter, safer, and more fuel efficient. CRFP is extremely strong and durable due to its interlaced layers of carbon fiber that create a rigid plastic, like epoxy resin. Carbon laminates are one solution to the extremely weight sensitive division of electric cars. Battery placement options and weight requirements are improved with the addition of complex, form-fitting carbon-fiber structures. Additionally, their appearance fits the sleek, futuristic look that vehicle manufacturers aim to achieve.

The rising popularity of electric cars will see a merging of the aesthetic and functional roles of composites, with continuous development in carbon-fiber laminate technology expediting those operations. Engine covers, rear air diffusers, and trunk liners all seem to be adopting a wider application already, allowing car designs to accommodate the rising desire for efficiency.

Benefits of Lightweight Composites

The functionality of vehicle transportation is constantly changing; therefore, the design of the cars must follow suit. Increased efficiency is a large factor in vehicle design, and the chosen materials play a large role in the manufacturing process. Lightweight composites help increase fuel efficiency, extend the life of fleets, offset the weight of batteries in electric cars, and create an eye-catching appearance.

Magnum Venus Products is always working toward creating possibilities in new developing material groups. The introduction of carbon-fiber laminates and polyurethanes has led to the advancement of equipment like the Mini-Link PUL for infusion and pultrusion.

To learn more about composites application equipment and Magnum Venus Products click here.

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