Composite materials are materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties, that when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components.
Composites are showing year-on-year growth in the region of 6% across all industrial centres. Of the seven centres which make up the HVM Catapult, one is focused solely on composites, four have composite-related activities and two have adjacent capability which could be applied to composites. The NCC is charged with developing and driving the UK composites strategy in association with the Composites Leadership Forum. The NCC can support small or large companies to develop new technologies for the design and rapid manufacture of high-quality composite products, as well as carrying out required testing on composite materials to ensure compliance with industry standards. It is proposed that a composite manufacture forum will be established that will be able to: oversee the Composite Manufacturing strand of the HVMC Strategic Development Programme; maintain and understand the capabilities within the HVMC and recommend future developments; liaise with other non-Catapult composites R&D centres to understand their capabilities; and engage with large funded programmes to maximise the HVMC’s involvement.