Paper number 1401


J.-A. E. Månson, M.D. Wakeman, P.-E. Bourban, P.W. Sunderland

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL),
Laboratoire de Technologie des Composites et Polymères (LTC),
CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Summary Material systems for mechanical applications are being developed under increasing cost pressure. Product development in the mechanical industries faces often conflicting and changing requirements. Decreasing system cost must be considered whilst maximising quality, functionality and return on manufacturing investment together with meeting legislative requirements for safety, emissions and recycling. In the automotive industry, weight increases from improved safety, refinement and functionality, interact with the vehicle mass reductions necessary to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. The use of lightweight materials and construction techniques is becoming imperative. Driving forces for composites have changed, as viewed by OEMs, evolving from the 80's (CAFE standards, emissions, alternative fuels and electric vehicles) to the 90's (cost effectiveness, weight reduction, government initiatives, low volume vehicles) to the current increased demands of return on capital, safety and niche products. These are needed to drive developments in the next century. In the aerospace industry, the driving forces for weight reduction yielding improved range and reduced operational costs have always been apparent, but requirements for driving total cost savings are now a reason for change
Keywords cost-effective, processing, automotive industry, RTM, preform, moulding.

Theme : Processing, Integrated Design and Manufacturing ; Low cost Manufacturing

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