Dark Matter Composites (Redbourn, Hertfordshire, U.K.) has introduced an off-the-shelf Step Sanding Tool Kit for carbon fiber composite repairs. It reportedly enables preparation of step-sanded repair surfaces in less time than scarf surfaces, typically with time savings of 50 to 75 percent, says Dark Matter. The tool kit consists of a modified Dynabrade air router (Dynabrade Inc., Clarence, N.Y.) combined with diamond surface planing heads and flexible jigs that reportedly can produce step-sanded repair surfaces on parts with double curvature. The kit is designed to accommodate repair areas up to 1,220 mm/48 inches in diameter, in step increments as small as 1 mm/0.0625 inch and depth increments of 0.05 mm/0.002 inch. All jigs are laser engraved with metric and imperial scales for both radii and diameters. The jigs also can be used to prepare repair materials. A range of diamond planing heads enable removal of a variety of composite materials, from course to fine, including gel coats, hand-laid chopped strand mats, woven prepreg fabrics and unidirectional, stitched fabrics and veils.
Editor PickBASF’s student competition looks for superior finish on carbon fiber composites
Competition open to U.S. and Canadian Ph.D. students and young researchers.