Studies and research activities conducted in the field of high-technology materials show that advanced composite materials are successfully used in key components for many fields of applications, from aerospace & automobile industries, marine construction, renewable energy, modern medicine to micro-/nano-material technologies, including other more complex civil and mechanical engineering assemblies. In addition to this variety of applications, the considerable increase in demand of these smart materials will open up many opportunities to design and manufacture new products for the future. However, these products have to satisfy sustainable development requirements, which can be achieved by a balanced equation that simultaneously guarantees economic growth and environmental protection.
According to these ecological considerations, researchers and industrials involved with high-technology composite materials are strongly encouraged to integrate ecodesign aspects into the composite product lifecycle, providing then a better assessment of environmental and health performances. Furthermore, "going green" can also contribute to the world’s socio-economic well-being and living conditions for present and future generations.
By adopting these principles of sustainable design, I am pleased to have this opportunity to edit this new book, which opens a new challenge in the world of composite materials and explores the achieved advancements of specialists in their respective areas of research and innovation.
The scientific and technological research contributions coming from both spaces of academia and industry were so diversified that the 28 chapters composing the book have been grouped into the following main parts:
• Sustainable materials and ecodesign aspects: research was focused on the integration of environmental aspects in the different stages of the design process, development of eco-friendly, non-asbestos and fully biodegradable macro-/micro-/nano-com – posite materials exhibiting less pollution and waste.
• Composite materials and curing processes: investigations were undertaken on some technologies of fabrication and on the simulation of the curing process with a reduction of VOC emissions and energy consumption.
• Modelling and testing of composites: studies were conducted on mechanical characterization, tolerance analysis, fluid-structure interaction, buckling phenomenon, delamination growth and stress analysis using in one hand numerical approaches, such as finite element method and on the other hand experimental investigations.
• Stress-strength analysis of adhesive joints: experimental testing, design formulas and FE codes were used to predict the failure strength of the joint and evaluate the structural behaviour of the damaged elements that were repaired and reinforced with adhesive layers.
• Characterization and thermal behaviour: properties of composite material devices for high demanding applications were investigated experimentally and numerically.
The results achieved from theoretical, numerical and experimental investigations can help designers, manufacturers and suppliers involved with high-tech composite materials to boost competitiveness and innovation productivity. Specific recommendations are to give much more focus and attention to (i) the chemical substances used in the manufacturing process, (ii) the amount of VOC emissions, (iii) the enhancement of quality-health-environment performance, (iv) the amount of waste produced, expired materials and ways of recycling, (v) the classification of companies and firms with regard to the new regulations and eco-standards, and more…
The editor would like to thank all Chapter Authors for their remarkable contributions coming from all around the world and appreciate the resulting synergy between academia and industry. Without this rich variety of contributions, the existence of the Book "Advances in Composite Materials – Ecodesign and Analysis" would not have been possible.
I also wish to acknowledge the help given by InTech Open Access Publisher staff, in particular Ivana Lorkovic for her assistance and support.
Dr. Brahim Attaf