Engineering is a term which can apply to a considerable variety of disciplines and/or fields. Some of the best-known fields would, of course, be industrial engineering, residential engineering, structural engineering, marine engineering and civil engineering. Nonetheless, as new technologies surface, so too do new fields of engineering. A good example would be marine engineering, a specialist discipline which has only been around for about 100 years. Another prime example would be laminates engineering, a specialist field which has witnessed a phenomenal amount of growth during the past two to three decades.
A Remarkable Display of Teamwork
One of the most fascinating things about engineering, is the fact more often than not, engineers from a wide range of fields have to come together in order to successfully complete large engineers projects. If we take a cruise ship for example, we can get a clear picture of this remarkable teamwork. We have design engineers; structural engineers; marine engineers; laminates engineers, and even safety engineers, to name only a few. Even a small lapse in communication between the various disciplines could result in a catastrophe, or at best, a massive financial loss. Each department is responsible for choosing the best possible materials for the work they are involved in. The Core building materials in engineering are often said to be the backbone of a construction project and, as such, selection of these materials should be left in the hands of those who best understand them.
What Role Do Laminates Play In Our Modern World?
The most common and most well-known laminates would be those which are routinely used in the manufacturing of furniture and flooring. In developed countries, most homes built or refitted during the past decade or two will have at least a certain amount of laminated furniture or other fitting. Quite often, this could, for example, include basic furniture and fixtures such as kitchen cupboards; work tops, and etc.
Laminate flooring has also become immensely popular in recent years, largely to steady progress in the field of laminates engineers. When laminate flooring was first introduced, it soon gained an undesirable reputation since it was not only costly, but also lack the sort of durability that one sees with good quality hardwood flooring. Today, however, laminated flooring is incredibly robust and just as durable as any sort of wooden flooring. Despite the significant improvement in quality, the cost of laminated flooring has remained remarkably consistent.
If we move beyond our homes, and we look to large commercial buildings, including all modern skyscrapers, we can once again see how widely used laminates have become. Go into any multi-story building and you will see laminate surfaces everywhere, from office partitions to desks to the interior of covering inside elevators. Even windows in these huge skyscrapers are made from laminated glass in order to significantly enhance their strength. In short, laminates are today just as much a part of construction as what any other materials are, and the use of laminated materials is likely to increase even further as laminates engineering advances.
Laminates Engineering in the Shipbuilding Industry
For many decades, boat builders have made use of laminating, and particularly when it comes to strengthening the stem of a small dinghy and etc. In fact, traditional boat builders still use this and other similar techniques when they build small boats. In large vessels, laminates are typically used for the same purposes as they are in commercial and residential building.
In more recent times, however, laminates engineering has produced a remarkable material known as Fiber-Metal Hybrid Laminate Material. Many experts in the field believe that this new material may soon replace the use of regular steel completely in the shipbuilding industry. The reason for this is because it’s lighter than the steel used for ship building, thereby reducing fuel consumption while at the same time allowing for greater speeds.
Another extremely attractive advantage of this material, is the fact that it can significant reduce, or even eliminate the problem of corrosion altogether. While there aren’t currently any ships made entirely from Fiber-Metal Hybrid Laminate Material, it has attracted a great deal of attention from the naval construction industry and from those involved in oceanic engineering.
The Crucial Role of Laminates in Space
Laminate engineering has played a tremendous role in space exploration, and in actual fact, without the use of advanced laminated materials, space exploration as we know it today would essentially be doomed. If we look at the now retired space shuttle fleet, we can immediately see several examples of laminated materials being used. The most glaring example being the heat shield which protects the ship from the incredible temperatures encountered during re-entry through the earth’s atmosphere.
Another astonishing example would be the laminated assemblies which are fitted inside the throat of a craft’s booster rockets. The shuttles as well as most other types of spacecraft also rely on “nano web” laminates for closed ventilation systems. With this in mind, it is easy to appreciate just how advanced laminates engineering has become over the last few decades.
No Room for Error
While the manufacturing of laminate flooring or laminate work surfaces for kitchens might not require any sort of advanced laminates engineering, it’s a whole different ball game in other industries that rely on laminate technology. From ocean-going passenger liners to nuclear submarines; from giant airliners to stealth fighter jets, technologically advanced laminates represent an almost endless number of opportunities. In truth, laminates are one of the core building materials used in engineering projects all over the world.