CW Blog

Tooling and carbon composite parts manufacturer Shape (Witney, Oxfordshire, UK) has a lot going on these days. The group’s machining operation recently doubled the size of its facility and the company has been using its ShapeTex preforming technology to offer a range of new visual options.

According to Shape they are able to deliver design composite parts, specify the laminate, analyze the laminate, design the tooling, manufacture the preform, hot press the part, CNC trim the part (if needed) and fully inspect it – all in-house. The ShapeTex preform uses a continuous tow of carbon fiber laid down to create a zero waste, optimized and accurately sized preform that can be directly consolidated into the finished part.

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Big composite container protects vital satellite

 

Satellites are built to painstaking specifications using specialized materials, and represent huge investments. Before they experience the vibrations of launch and the rigors of the space environment, they first have to make it to the launch pad, intact. A company called Pagnotta Engineering Inc. (PEI, Exton, PA, US) was called upon by Orbital ATK (Dulles, VA, US) to design a massive shipping box to protect Orbital ATK’s GEOStar-3 geosynchronous satellite bus structure, during shipment from Dulles to launch locations such as French Guiana, for example.

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Over the past three years, a team of Cal Poly students have been working to design and build a vehicle to challenge the international land-speed record for a completely solar-powered car. 

Their car is made of carbon fiber composites and features more than 100 ft2 of solar panels. It has no batteries or any other method for storing energy and uses less than 2 kW of solar power. So can it beat the existing 56 mph record for a solar-powered vehicle? The team will make a run at the record this June at US Air Force Plant 42 (Palmdale, CA, US).

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Composite materials and innovations are constantly evolving. In addition to industry news, features, blog posts and podcasts, CW also maintains a comprehensive collection of product announcements provided by companies. This monthly roundup includes links to regular posts concerning the latest products of interest to the composites industry.

This month has seen innovations from Airtech, Analyswift, Arkema, Ashland, Azco, BÜFA Composite Systems, Coastal Enterprises Jetcam, Mahr, Metrology, MultiMechanics, Panacol, Porcher Industries and Techsil. 

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Titan prepares for Titanic expedition

 

CW first reported on OceanGate (Everett, WA, US) a year ago, when we described the design and development of the composites-intensive Cyclops 2 five-person, deep-sea submersible vehicle. Cyclops 2, at the time, was in the final stages of production and eventually would venture down to re-examine the wreckage of the RMS Titanic in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

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