Lightweight Materials Used to Transport People and Goods

When it comes to composites in transportation, it is all about weight. Steel in its many forms is a relatively durable, strong and cheap material; it’s easy to work – roll, cast bend and weld. However, it is relatively heavy due to the main element it contains – iron – and it is prone to corrosion and fatigue.

Certainly there are lighter materials too – such as aluminium, one of the most common elements in the earth’s crust. It shares many of steel’s properties but is lower in strength; although its corrosion resistance is better than steel in everyday applications it is softer, suffers from fatigue and is more expensive to produce.

The strength/weight ratio of most composites is in general far higher than that of steel and aluminium, and that saving in weight for a given level of strength is the key to the importance of composites in transportation.

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