CW Blog

Carbon Fibre Preforms (CFP, Solihull, UK) has spent seven years developing its Rapid Output Controllable Composite Shapes (ROCCS) technology. Using chopped fibers and a very rapid mix and deposition process, it produces flat and net-shaped, fully resin-infused preforms in seconds, which are then compression molded into sheets and parts. The company’s FR.10 products provide a lightweight, cost-effective alternative to metal in applications which must meet stringent fire and temperature requirements. Weighing less than 6 kg/m2, 5mm FR.10 can replaced metal parts weighing hundreds of kg/m2. In testing, it has withstood direct flame and 1200°C, while under load, for 2 hours with no burn-through, and amazingly, provides enough thermal insulation that you can place a bare hand in full contact on the back side during burn tests.

Simon Price is managing director for Carbon Fibre Preforms and Tim Bastow is global business development director. Simon previously led the team behind Recycled Carbon Fibre Ltd. “We developed the process, built the line, scaled it to production of 2,000 metric tonnes of recycled fiber per year and then sold it to ELG in 2011,” says Price.

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I have covered Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) for some time, but Cevotec has recently announced multiple developments that expand its capabilities in composites:

Automated production line using multiple Cevotec SAMBA Scale preforming cells (left) for high-volume composites preforming and cevoTape dry fiber and prepreg unidirectional tape (right) for FPP, AFP and ATL processes. SOURCE: Cevotec.

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Falcon Heavy is just the beginning

On Tuesday, Feb. 6, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launched itself into space for the first time ever, marking a new milestone in the private space race era — the successful deployment of a “heavy” class rocket capable of delivering a payload of up to 63.8 MT to low Earth orbit (LEO). Not since the Saturn V in the 1970s has the world launched a rocket of such size and capability. 

It was not difficult, watching video of the Falcon Heavy launch, to be impressed not just by the launch itself — and subsequent delivery of the Tesla Roadster cargo into space — but also the recovery of the two boosters, which landed simultaneously on adjacent landing pads near the Florida coast.

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3D printing for a Bonneville run

As a former (amateur vintage) racer myself, I appreciate all things motor sports, from Formula 1 down to kids’ go carts. And anyone familiar with racing knows the Bonneville Salt Flats, that great dry lake east of Wendover, UT, US. For more than 100 years, Bonneville has created a competitive spirit that has attracted racers from the likes of Mickey Thompson, Bobby Issac (of NASCAR fame), and Valerie Thompson (the fastest female motorcycle racer), and challenged racers, and their machines, to test the limits of speed. 

It’s an equal opportunity environment: you don’t need a giant budget or big blocks to run.  Engine classes run from 30 cubic Inches (490 cc) to 501 cubic Inches (8 liters), in 12 different engine size classes. Some speed records are still less than 100 mph, so with creativity, smart use of budget, and a lot of courage, anyone has a shot at the record books.

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SGL Group (Wiesbaden, Germany) is a leading manufacturer worldwide of products and materials made from carbon focusing on the megatrends of mobility, energy and digitization. The company’s extensive product portfolio ranges from carbon and graphite products and carbon fiber to composite parts. Over the past two years it has made a series of organizational maneuvers as part of its strategic realignment :

Throughout, SGL has communicated that its mission is to concentrate its expertise in the processing of carbon and glass fibers for composites materials and components into a single Composites – Fibers & Materials (CFM) business unit.

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