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The Use of Composite Materials in the Automotive Industry

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    Different composite materials have been in used for many years in the automotive industry to create components that have unique characteristics, such as being strong and light. The trend in using composite materials is accelerating to meet lightweighting requirements to meet the next generation of fuel economy standards. An interesting lightweighting application combines the use of continuous fiber composite material with injection molding. The continuous fiber composite material forms a lightweight shell, while the necessary support structure can be created by overmolding it with a fiber-filled plastic. This so-called hybrid technique can create extremely lightweight strong parts that can be manufactured in large volumes. Autodesk® Simulation Moldflow® plastic injection molding simulation software can help with the design and engineering efforts for this process.

    Key Learnings

    • Define composite materials
    • Describe hybrid composite materials and identify their advantages
    • Use a lightweighting process for automotive design
    • Use Simulation Moldflow to simulate hybrid composite products