Advanced Composites Set a New Standard in Aerospace Manufacturing

Advanced composites, manufactured with materials such as epoxy resins and carbon fiber, are setting the new standard for strength, durability, and versatility when it comes to selecting materials in aerospace manufacturing. Composite materials have emerged as optimal selections over traditional materials like steel and aluminum.

Overall, the use of composites is advantageous to the aerospace industry based on the lightweight characteristics, high strength-to-weight ratio, ability to withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures, as well as corrosion and chemical resistance—all important features for the environmental conditions that aircrafts meet in space.

Over the past 50 years, manufacturers have realized the benefits of epoxy resins, and more widely adopted their use in primary structures of aircrafts. Using epoxy to achieve weight reduction in aircrafts also lends itself to environmental benefits, such as curbing emissions.

Epoxy bodes well in space

Epoxy resin is used for a variety of innovative applications within aerospace manufacturing. One of its most common uses—carbon fiber prepreg tapes—is among the leading materials used in advanced aerospace composites. Epoxy is superior as a resin used for carbon fiber prepreg tapes because it allows for improved toughness, strength, stiffness and resistance, and less shrinkage when exposed to environmental elements versus alternative resins. These properties allow the epoxy to help make structures with integrity and longevity.

The aerospace industry demands materials that perform well in high-performance applications and high vacuum conditions, and when weight and mechanical properties are top priority—and prepreg fits the bill. Using prepreg in manufacturing processes offers many advantages, including producing less waste and requiring less time for curing. For these reasons and more, the aerospace industry is one of the greatest drivers of growth for the global carbon fiber tape market.

Advanced composites like epoxy resin and carbon fiber will undoubtedly continue as materials of choice and widespread use for diverse structural, mechanical, electronic, and adhesive applications in aerospace. They offer environmental advantages along with the ability to withstand extreme environmental conditions without sacrificing performance.

Learn more about the benefits of advanced composites from Composites One in the aerospace industry.