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Advanced materials—A necessary transition

April 14, 2016

Advanced Materials—

From a general perspective, systems engineering revolve around products design, materials, and manufacturing processes. The evolution within each aspect affects directly the others, as illustrated in the following diagram:

design_product_advanced_material

Product Design

There are four current predominant factors which requires that companies consider new materials and manufacturing processes in their product design.

Cost of materials

Cost of materials influences to a great extent the choice which will be made for materials to be used. The constant increasing costs in conventional materials, especially due to transportation costs and to certain non-renewable resource scarcity, make us revaluate their use.

Today, advanced materials introduction allows us to rethink systems design and offers a possibility to combine, in an optimal way, system contents. Thus, the overall cost of a product can be reduced.

Sustainable development

In a sustainable development thinking, many companies will choose today less conventional materials in order to focus on local sources, reduce transportation time and cost, or ensure a revaluation of the materials’ end of life. For example, glass material has been replaced by polycarbonate material in the manufacturing of automobiles headlights’ lenses; one of the reason of this material switch is related to energy saving in the plastic recycling process.

Energy issues

Energy issues also influence new materials’ development, especially in transportation and mobility: lighter vehicles, embedded electrification of vehicles and alternative energies uses, distribution of energy sources; development and use of more efficient alloy steel to reduce weight; increasing uses of aluminium and magnesium; multi-materials assembly methods.

Growth of safety standards’ requirements

Today, safety standards adopted by governmental organisations and contractors are stricter. This situation requires the development of a more efficient polymeric materials which meets, amongst others, structural requirements in case of an impact or a better fire resistance.front_mask_train_transport_w370.pxjpg

Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes

Arising from above-mentioned issues, several advanced materials with promising future, such as the following, have been developed:

  • Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) to reduce structures’ weight and increase their stiffness and resistance.
  • Reinforced polymers with fiberglass and carbon fiber and stainless steel alloys infiltrated with bronze to produce extremely complexes forms in additive manufacturing (3D).
  • New structural adhesives to optimise systems’ cost performance ratio; bond and adhesive bond structures, for example.
  • Aerogel such as ultralight foam to replace traditional stuffing.

Looking Forward thanks to Merkur’s Expertise

Merkur’s team is constantly looking for newest technologies to expand our knowledge and expertise in systems engineering. Thus, we are able to maximize our knowledge on several advanced materials, aluminium, reinforced polymers, such as thermoplastics, composites, high resistance steel, in many projects in the transportation sector. Each expert analyzes and identifies suitable materials and processes.

If you want Merkur to guide you throughout your innovative applications development’s projects which integrated advanced materials, contact one of our experts now at 1-877-571-0222.

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