The Balance Between Durability, Reliability, and Affordability in Structural Composites Manufacturing: Preliminary Results
Fiber reinforced structural composites will play a key role in the development of the next generation of transportation vehicles (passenger cars, vans, light trucks and heavy trucks) due to their high strength-to-weight and stiffness-to-weight ratio compared to metals. An integrated assessment of the durability, reliability, and affordability of these materials is critical to facilitate the inclusion of these materials into new designs. The result of this assessment should provide information to find the balance between the three performance measures. This paper describes a method to develop this assessment in the fabrication of sheet molding compound (SMC) parts, and discusses the concept of Preform Insert Assembly (PIA) for improved affordability in the manufacturing of composite parts.