- Dan Primrose
Short fibre technology
Throughout Dans career in the automotive design sector, the principal aim of all the materials and processes that we developed was to reduce the part cost.
Whilst the most efficient use of composites is to create a sandwich panel (ie with a lightweight core and thin, carbon skins to create thickness), in some areas the panels only needed to be monolithic (ie with no core). For these parts (as for most composite parts), the labour cost is a significant portion of the overall cost. To reduce this, several companies have developed "pastes" with shortened fibres in that can laid into the tools rapidly which in turn produces a much lower cost part, with very similar properties to one made from woven cloths.
To take full advantage of this process, and maximise the potential cost savings, there must be a degree of investment in the tooling route taken, but from the studies we have undertaken for automotive customers, the break-even point as far as volumes go is not as high as people might think.....
Having worked very closely with the main composite suppliers developing this technology, LightBlack Design are in an ideal position to pass on the advances we have made and advise you on possible areas that they could be used in the production of marine components. Typical products that could benefit form this process are such items as hatch surrounds, steering binnacles, deck hatches and deck gear. The key factor to choosing the right part is that they are all produced in volumes to some degree. The potential list is long...
If any further details are required or if you may have a possible application for this process, then please contact us at any time at Info@LightBlackDesign.com