After finding some short-lived success in the 1980s, are Aluminium Matrix Composites (AMCs) about to take off again? Richard Thompson from Alvant says with some sectors under pressure to improve performance and reduce weight, there are significant benefits offered to engineers across a host of different applications.

AMCs first became known in the 1980s for their use in automotive components. At this time AMCs were in their infancy, their properties were largely unproven and sometimes the advantages were over-sold. As a consequence, the reputation of AMCs suffered and as carbon composites became more widely adopted, AMCs were largely forgotten by engineers and designers. However, in the three decades since research and development into the manufacturing of these composites has resulted in game-changing progress and with pressures on weight reduction, AMCs are now firmly back in the spotlight.

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