Deciding on the next blog topic next can be quite a challenging task. A friend of mine recently brought the new iphone 6 and the first thing said was: 'look how light it is!' It seems that consumers are becoming more and more lured towards the lightweight factor for the products they purchase and equally - so are brands. Be it electronic items, home ware appliances or even footwear, this era seems to be on the lookout for smaller, slicker, lighter products. So rather than promoting our superficial lightweight panel, I decided to investigate the 'other' reason for the growing trend and higher demands towards weight reduction.
As Apple is mine and many others' favourite brand, I looked into the recent iPad Air 2 which weighs around 280g less than the iPad first generation and 181g lighter than the previous model. This makes the tablet, currently the lightest in the world. Vice President Phil Schiller said 'the compact size would help to reduce shipping emissions, energy consumer during production and the waste generated at the end of the product's life'. The tablet created by Apple is the latest example of a leading brand seeking to reduce the resource footprint of their products. It seems that the trend has spread to a wide range of companies to design lighter, smaller and more recyclable products as they attempt to move towards the development of reusing materials and resources.
The global lightweight materials industry has been experiencing strong growth from various industries including medical, defence, consumer goods, building and construction and electronics. Along with lightweight materials, comes the nanotechnology, helping to considerably improve and revolutionize many technology industry sectors. Utilizing nanotechnology, materials can effectively be made to be stronger, lighter, and more durable. Nanoscale additives in polymer composite materials for items like helmets, tennis rackets, can make them lightweight and resilient. It's fair to conclude that reversing the weight factor is a key demand and selling feature, but for that to continue, it is essential for lightweight designs to be consistently applied. Cost-efficient lightweight designing and manufacturing is a challenge many companies operating in different industries must be conscious off in the future.