Auto Hobbies And Composite Materials Trend

by Frank Garcia

The hottest market in auto hobbies today is composite materials. While composites are nothing new in the auto industry- we have all heard of fiberglass panels, it is becoming more common for car manufacturers and after market companies to use composite parts in place of metal parts. It is no longer just used for cosmetic parts, but has expanded to other areas such as auto body, accessory and engine parts in response to a greener more fuel efficient and faster car.

Almost any hard part can be made with composites. Body panels, air intake and car hoods to name a few examples of exterior auto parts. In the engine compartment, carbon fiber battery cases and intake covers are replacing standard metal and plastic cases. Interior parts include light fixtures, trim and side panels, instrument panels and gear shift covers.

The benefits of composite parts in place of metal and plastic parts are many. Composites are stronger and lighter than comparable metal or plastic, therefore the car will be lighter and more fuel efficient. Another benefit is that composite parts cost less than its metal counterpart.

Composite parts are typically made with synthetic fiber such as glass, carbon or aramid in a woven or stitched fabric. The fabric is covered in an epoxy based resin and hardening blend. Once the mixture has set, the part becomes hard.

If making your own composite parts is not something you want to delve in, there are several parts makers in the market that can either custom fabricate or manufacture replacement parts for your project. You can do an online web search on the part you are looking for.

Several companies sell beginner to advanced composite kits, if you find you are excited at the thought of making your own part. The kits have everything needed for your project. Watch one of the many free videos posted on online that show you how to get started. Trying it out will not hurt you. You may wind up supplying composite parts yourself! Even if your project is not a success, you still have the option of just purchasing it. While you may sidestep composite parts with your auto hobbies, the trend may just force it your way.

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