Composite materials are lightweight and high-strength to meet the demanding needs of the Defense industry. Composite structures are highly versatile and configurable, allowing them to be used in many different applications. Drone bodies, armoured vehicles and fighter jets all contain many assemblies which make use of the excellent strength to weight ratio of these materials. Composites are also increasingly being used to isolate critical electronic devices from vibrations and heat in applications which require extreme accuracy and repeatability.
The automotive market is a quickly growing market as manufacturers develop new methods to make lighter, more fuel efficient vehicles. In addition, composite parts are allowing vehicles to be safer in the event of a collision. Currently some manufactures are using composites to build bumpers, body panelling, interior components, and structural members. The automotive industry is a leader in incorporating automation in composite manufacturing.
The marine industry has used composites since the 1930’s with the advent of glass fiber reinforced plastics. Composites offer a lightweight option for producing complex curved geometry found in boat hulls. Composites are also heavily used in recreational marine equipment like canoes and kayaks.
The aerospace industry is one of the largest contributors to the demand in composites, due to their need for lightweight components. On newly built aircraft, over 50% of the parts are manufactured with composites materials. Parts ranging from entire fuselage sections, wings, interior elements, and components required near and inside the aircraft’s engine.
Composites are widely used in the mining industry to build tanks that store corrosive and toxic materials. They are also used to build chutes and feeders in agricultural applications and offer good wear properties with increased design flexibility.
Composites continue to be the primary structural components in large scale wind turbines, making up most of the turbine rotor and tower manufacturing.
Light weight panelling, deck-boards, doors, bathtubs, pools and roofing materials can all be made from composite materials. These materials offer the advantage of maintaining their colour in the presence of constant UV light, as well as being resistant to corrosion when constantly exposed to water.