Edoardo Depase is the engineered materials applications research and engineering manager for Cytec Engineered Materials (CEM), a global provider of technologically advanced materials for designers and engineers in commercial aerospace, civil and military rotorcraft, business and regional jets and automotive. CEM’s portfolio includes high-performance, pre-impregnated composites and adhesives, ablatives, carbon-carbon materials for high-temperature applications, high-temperature silicone-based sealants, thermoplastic materials, and PAN and pitch-based carbon fibers. Depase will be speaking at the AeroDef Manufacturing Exposition and Conference next week.
What challenges do you see driving the composites industry right now and why?
The composite industry is at a pivotal point in time. We are at the inflection point between an emerging industry benefiting only a few players and a high impact industry benefiting many applications. The challenges associated with this historical shift of composites usage on more applications than in the past (with higher performance and quality expectations at a lower total system cost) can be met by expanding our ability to produce and support development of higher volume applications and advancing the performance, quality and supply stability simultaneously.
What would help the composites industry expand?
Because the industry is beginning to experience a higher degree of composite adoption, one of the most important enabling technologies is high speed, proven manufacturing processes to turn raw materials into finished parts more efficiently and cost effectively. This includes all aspects of the value chain from raw materials to finished, inspected and installed structures.
What new applications do you see for composites?
Exceptional performance at a lower weight is driving carbon fiber composite investigation and adoption in industrial markets such as wind and automotive. These industrial markets constitute a substantial opportunity that, in the near future, could be comparable to the current market for composites in the aerospace industry.
What are the challenges ahead, for composites?
While the challenges differ between and within the various industries, some of the common challenges include the need for stable supply and high speed, robust manufacturing processes.
Where do you see the most potential for composite industry growth?
While all markets are expanding and extending their use of carbon fiber composites, the opportunities within the industrial markets with the highest projected future adoption and usage percentages afford the greatest potential.
What do you look for in a supply chain partner?
We look for a quality-driven culture within the company. This applies to whatever the supplier is offering, whether we are talking about product attributes, supply assurance, ability to maintain schedule commitments or technological development.