(March 20, 2015) Researchers are on the verge of a breakthrough that will allow for the wide-scale use of thermoplastic composites in the automotive industry. These 'futuristic materials' are ultra-light, while being strong and rigid and also sustainable and recyclable. Researchers at the ThermoPlastic Composite Research Center (TPRC) in Enschede (Netherlands) were recently successful in overcoming the last hurdle, which was to design practically faultless components and to make the process for doing so predictable. This makes it possible to determine at an early stage of the design process whether a component can be manufactured at all. This means that the two biggest requirements made by the automotive industry, namely weight reduction and reduced costs, can be satisfied.