Composite material production

Composite material production

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Credit: Massimo Brega, THE LIGHTHOUSE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Composite material production. A technician with a sheet of carbon fibre composite material. Behind him is the autoclave mould used to manufacture sheets of the composite. Carbon fibre and epoxy resin (a synthetic polymer) are placed in the mould at high temperature and pressure. When set, the polymer/carbon fibre composite has excellent strength but with a lighter weight than equivalent metal components. This type of process is used in the aerospace and motor vehicle industries for the manufacture of non-structural panels. Photographed in France at a facility run by the chemical and materials manufacturer Arkema.

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