Overview

The UK has a dynamic materials industry, which is at the forefront in a wide range of sectors.

Advanced materials are crucial for the development of new products with improved performance and functionality.

The UK’s world-class expertise in the development of many metallic systems, coupled with its recognised strengths in composite materials, mean that it leads the way in the development of new lightweight and recyclable solutions for many sectors, including transportation.

Examples of the UK’s success in this field include the collaboration between Advanced Composites Group and GE Aviation with Swedish sports car manufacturer Koenigsegg for composite material and part production respectively for the CCX and CCR; its dominance in Formula 1 (where 60 per cent of cars are designed and produced in the UK); GKN’s production of the A400m composite spar; and Airbus UK’s wing production.

England’s East Midlands is home to much of this composites capability, initially developed in response to the needs of Formula One, which then grew as a result of the drive by larger organisations here, such as Rolls-Royce Aerospace to develop a composite design and manufacturing competence. Companies such as Advanced Composites Group were formed to serve this need.

As these organisations have grown, spin-off companies have been started and so the capability base has grown.
Niche specialisms include:
  • composite structure production
  • design and production of unsaturated polyester resins
  • reinforcements & ancillaries
  • design and manufacture of precision composite components
  • development of next-generation materials and processes
  • manufacture and application of high performance, light weight composite structures
  • manufacturers & processors of composites & carbon fibre

 
Key sectors > New technologies > Advanced materials