Composites for Surface Transport

Innovation for Zero Emission Vehicles

Composites are fundamental in the development of the next generation of zero emission vehicles. They play a crucial role in enabling motors to spin faster and be more efficient; for hydrogen to be stored safely; for ships to harness natural sources of energy; and for safe, comfortable and reliable travel for passengers. The NCC is working at the forefront of identifying, investigating and developing these innovations and technologies.

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Energy storage

Today, there is only one cost effective, technically viable and safe way to store hydrogen for mobility applications: composite pressure vessels that draw upon the high performance of fibres and toughness of matrix materials in a composite. The impact performance of composites, low mass and resistance to harsh environments makes composites more competitive than metallic alternatives. At the NCC, we are supporting the development of supply chains and technology for light, strong and durable energy storage solutions.

Improved efficiency for land, sea & rail

Composites provide more durable, lighter and lower full life cost solutions in a number of surface transport applications. They last longer than other materials, which improves reliability, reduces through life costs and reduces the environmental impact of many transport modes. Composites enable increased power density: super high-strength fibres are used to retain magnets in high performance motors, enabling them to spin faster and generate more power for the same mass. In many lower volume applications, like fairings and bodywork, composites can provide the most cost effective manufacturing solution, where complex mouldings can be made from low-cost tools. In turn, low up-front costs remove barriers to market entry and speed product development. 

 

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