Composite Materials For Safer, Lighter Vehicles

composite materials

Over the last four decades or so, fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP) have been used in engineering structures. Since then, the use of composite materials has steadily diversified into sports equipment, helicopters, aerospace and high-performance racing cars.

The military first used composite materials before engineering companies applied the technology to commercial planes and cars. It was initially used in military applications such as radomes, secondary structures and internal components. Looking at the automotive future, composite materials can be used to design and build safer, lighter vehicles.

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McLaren Automotive Hits The 20,000 Mark

McLaren Automotive
Img Credit: McLaren Automotive

For the few who don’t know, McLaren Cars were founded in 1985 which later became McLaren Automotive. Today, they remain a successful British car manufacturer based at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey where their primary focus is on sports cars.

In 2017, McLaren constructed a £50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) at the Advanced Manufacturing Park between Sheffield and Rotherham. The facility is responsible for building carbon fibre chassis for all McLaren road cars.

McLaren Automotive became a 100% owned subsidiary of the wider McLaren Group in July 2017 and recently celebrated selling their 20,000th car. It will be hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Surrey.

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What Is CNC Machining and How Does It Work?

In today’s modern manufacturing world, not too many products are made without CNC machining. This includes the basics like toys, household appliances and machines but also cars, aeroplanes and medical devices among others. CNC machining is incredibly versatile and many industries cannot do without it.

Some of the main industries that rely heavily on CNC machining include aerospace, automotive, medical manufacturing and woodworking. Here, they use it use for various operations such as drilling and routing where the aerospace industry favours CNC machining because it offers the five-axis option when required. This functionality means they can more easily manage hard-to-cut materials such as Inconel.

In healthcare or the medical sector, CNC machining plays an essential role for micro-machining. This involves fabricating all the tiny parts made from different types of materials for various life-saving applications. Examples of CNC machined parts are pacemakers or titanium joints not to mention tools and implements for medical professionals.

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How Does Electroplating Work?

electroplating

While there is no magic trick to change common chemical elements into rare and valuable ones, electroplating is as close as it gets. Electroplating is similar to electrolysis which is the opposite of the process batteries use to produce electric currents. The earliest form, which became the modern electroplating process, occurred in the early 19th century.

The development of bigger electric generators meant higher currents which drastically improved the process. Advancements in industrial and manufacturing practices over the past two centuries have changed this process considerably.

While some of you may already know what electroplating is, what about how it works? Continue reading

Audi Combines Electric Car With Flying Taxi Quadcopter

flying taxi

Credit: New Atlas

We can never get tired of reading and writing about engineering developments, emerging technologies and the flying taxi. This year has already seen a few interesting concepts from Uber signing with NASA to the CityHawk and Pal-V. And now it is time for Audi to step up to the plate.

The German automaker is living up to their name with the new Pop.Up Next, a hybrid quadcopter and compact two-seater electric vehicle. This is certainly an ambitious attempt but one that seems well worth it considering their partnership with Italdesign and Airbus. Continue reading

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