There is no lack of creative thinkers and innovators in the world of advanced composites, however to make significant strides there is a long way to go. Almost all parties involved are looking forward for lower costs, higher quality and enhanced efficiencies. To that end, here are some technological advances in composites engineering for 2014. Thanks for a great year, and we will see you for an even better one in 2015.


1. Composites Conferences Booming:

2014 was a banner year for composite conferences around the world. The COMPOSITES EUROPE 2014 trade show in Düsseldorf in October attracted 10,186 visitors, an increase of 25% on the previous event held in 2012. 419 exhibitors took part, an increase of 7% on 2012. The same month, in the Orlando, Florida, CAMX (The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo) 2014 housed 7100 conference attendees and more than 550 exhibitors.

When asked about the sector’s medium-term economic development perspectives over the next 4 years, 64% of visitors at the European conference said they expected moderate to strong growth.

2. CFRP’s 3D Printing:

Fotolia_54357702_SIt was hard to look at a composites publication this year without seeing some reference to the 3D-printing of composites. The most exciting advances were those made in the printing of continuous fiber reinforced plastics. Freespace Composites utilizes a proprietary procedure in which thermoplastic made of high-capacity carbon fiber which is optimally placed. It keeps on producing fiber structures with the desired fiber orientation. The 3D printers possess several 6-axis robot arms that dispense the fiber.

On the other side, MarkForged has released Mark One which is now considered as the first 3D printer in the world which is based on carbon fiber. The Mark One is capable of printing nylon, poly lactic acid (PLA), consistent glass filament and continuous carbon as printing materials and fused filament fabrication (FFF) and composite filament fabrication (CFF) as printing techniques.

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