The term "low cost composites" has often been described as a contradiction in terms as composites have not historically been considered low cost in any of the variety of applications that utilize composite materials. This is especially true in aerospace / aircraft related composites. Although composites provide many advantages over metals in aircraft applications, including lighter weight, fatigue resistance, and better damage tolerance, the cost associated with replacing metals with composites can make this change a difficult decision.
The cost issues associated with composites will be discussed by several speakers at SAE's Design, Manufacturing and Economics of Composites Symposium
scheduled for June 2014 in Madrid, Spain. This event will feature speakers from the aerospace, automotive, and wind energy industries who will discuss cost issues associated with implementing composite materials in their respective industries.
Composites manufacturing topics will also be discussed extensively at this SAE Symposium. As composite material cost will likely remain a significant percentage of the overall cost of a composite structure, manufacturing efficiency becomes the primary focus in reducing the cost of composites. Speakers at this Symposium will discuss automated lamination processes, the barriers to implementing automated processes (primarily equipment cost), and the latest equipment technology developments and improvements.
The SAE 2014 Design, Manufacturing and Economics of Composites Symposium
has been organized by a group of recognized industry experts in the field of composite materials and composites manufacturing processes. The agenda at this Symposium will provide attendees with interesting and valuable information.
For more information about this planned event, visit www.sae.org/dtmc
This article was written by Carroll Grant, Aerospace Composites Consulting. He is a member of the organizing committee for the SAE 2014 Design, Manufacturing and Economics of Composites Symposium, to be held June 10-11 in Madrid, Spain.