CFP Composites launches low-cost, carbon fiber laminate that processes like metal

Appears in Print as: 'Low-cost, carbon fiber laminate processes like metal'

The BM-5 laminate board can be screwed, tapped, fastened, bonded and painted just like a metal, and requires no prepreg, layout or curing. It also has a comparable cost to metal, removing operator and financial barriers to adopt carbon fiber.


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BM-5 carbon fiber laminate board

Photo Credit: CFP Composites

CFP Composites Ltd. (Solihull, U.K.) has launched its low-cost, 5-mm-thick carbon fiber laminate, BM-5. According to the company, one global industrial Tier 1 engineering company described the material as being “just like black metal,” as the laminate board can be screwed, tapped, fastened, bonded and painted just like a metal, with no delamination. It also has a comparable cost to metal, removing operator and financial barriers to adopt carbon fiber.

Made using a proprietary blend of chopped carbon fiber mixed with a polyamide binder, CFP says BM-5 is simple to use. Users buy the ready-to-cut/machine sheets, and cut out the required shape for completion. Prepreg, layup, and/or oven/autoclave cure is not required.

Furthermore, to cut or machine BM-5, only standard metallic cutting tools are necessary. The material is said to generate no carbon dust, only safe and easily disposable chippings, eliminating need for specialist cutting rooms or equipment. The video below gives a rundown of how BM-5 works. 

The lightweight, carbon fiber laminate has a wide range of application potential, particularly if the application has a flat geometry. Decks, platforms, cladding, bulkheads, reinforcements, enclosures, casings, and even certain components are a few examples. 

CFP also carried out a cost analysis comparing 275 mm x 125 mm BM-5 and aluminum boards on a finished part basis. Between materials (£10.00) and machine (£45.00) for the aluminum board, the total was £55.00 in price. Compared to BM-5 — materials (£17.00) and machine (£45.00) — the total equaled £62.00, indicating comparable costs between the two.

According to Simon Price, managing director of CFP, the most important thing to take away from BM-5 is that it removes the operating barriers to using carbon fiber materials in industrial applications, with a cost that works for end users, compared to metals. BM-5 is distributed globally via CFP partners, and there is no minimum order quantity. Shipping is typically 7 days.


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