As well as being as light as possible, satellite components must also be stiff enough to perform under extremely harsh conditions in space and during the launch procedure. Aerospace manufacturers are therefore looking to utilise new design techniques and manufacturing methods, such as additivemanufacturing, in order to save as much weight and material as possible when producing their components.
One application where CFIP has proven its lightweighting capabilities is in a car brake pedal. The pedal was manufactured by the integral joining of different parts, selecting the most efficient manufacturing method and material for each one according to the mechanical requirements in each zone, but also to costs and production targets. The figure below shows the pedal before the CFIP process, indicating the materials and processes used.
Despite recent breakthroughs in 3D printing of composite materials, such as the ability touse chopped carbon fibre as a reinforcement for polymers and the revolutionary development ofdirectly printing continuous fibres, a gap remains within the 3D printing industry for a truly ground-breaking approach to fibre reinforcement.