The future of thermoplastics in the automotive industry: Conclusion
Summary of our series on thermoplastics in the automotive industry
The automotive industry has reached a point where it is on the verge of embracing carbon
fibre reinforced plastic as one of the main manufacturing components of the future. While
consumers will not accept any reduction in safety standard or in functionality in their cars,
they expect ever greater gains in weight reduction and fuel efficiency. Manufacturers have
long been interested in using CFRP and other composite materials in their designs, and
have utilised them as much as possible in non-structural parts as and when they have been able to. With the development of manufacturing and process techniques and the
advancement of CFRP technology, it will soon be possible to create entire body structures
with CFRP materials that are far lighter than their steel counterparts yet retain all the
safety features. By speeding up the manufacturing process it will be possible to mass
produce parts quickly enough to suit demand, and maintain a viable manufacturing cycle.
CFRP will no longer be the domain of the aerospace industry and the high-end automobile sector, but will become integral to mass production of vehicles over the coming years.
This article is part of our series on thermoplastics