THE market for composite materials in the aerospace and defence industries in W. Europe is the subject of a new study by IAL Consultants Ltd. The report which is over 200 pages long, brings together in one volume the results of a number of recent studies into advanced composites, including the views of over one hundred experts in the polymer supply, fabrication and end use markets. Design engineers and technical managers have contributed to the chapters on prospects for composites in the context of a changing aerospace market. High performance applications such as fighters, helicopters, space and satellite vehicles, missiles and passenger aircraft are discussed in detail. Declining real expenditure on defence equipment but an expansion in civil air traffic has affected the types of components made from advanced composites. Production costs and reproducibility of finished components have been the important development areas for fabricators, while raw materials suppliers have concentrated on producing stronger or stiffer fibres, and high temperature and highly impact tolerant resins.
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