Composite materials are in high demand today as a lightweight and cost-effective alternative to metals. Typically, they’re found in all sorts of applications, such as boat hulls, swimming pool panels, cars, appliances, bathtubs, aircraft fuselages, buildings, bridges, storage tanks, and much more. In the past, composites were made of two or more sub-materials with different properties. For example, the Egyptians constructed composite bricks in a clay or mud matrix reinforced by dried stray. Composite materials today usually have three main constituents customized to suit the needs of a specific application. The following attributes are often altered to meet a client’s need:
Remember, the reinforcement material is the main load-bearing component and is usually more robust and firmer than the other constituents. The following are some examples of materials used for reinforcement:
- Glass Fiber: S-Glass and E-Glass are the two most-produced glass fibres. While S-Glass carries a superior stiffness and tensile strength thanks to a larger percentage composition of Silicon Oxide and Aluminum Oxide, E-Glass has better electrical insulation due to a more significant composition of Calcium Oxide.
- Carbon Fiber: Made with high-temperature heating with few impurities, carbon fiber can be exceptionally strong and stiff. There are different grades of the material, from a low modulus to an ultra-high modulus fibre.
- Aramid Fiber: This type of fibre is made by spinning an amine group polymer with exposure to acid, resulting in a material that’s fine, stiff, and abrasive.
An excellent composite manufacturing company like Spartec Composites can offer multiple types of reinforcement materials. They can also process reinforcement materials into different forms:
- Continuous Fibers: These are full-length reinforcement fibres arranged in a specific pattern in accordance with other fibres. They display high strength and stiffness properties due to their significantly high length to diameter ratio. Tows are a type of continuous fibre product that manufacturers use for localized reinforcement or repairs. Woven and non-woven fabrics are also an instance of continuous fibre applications.
- Discontinuous Fibers: These fibres may have lower strength and stiffness properties than continuous fibres due to their random orientation and lesser fibre length to diameter ratios. Fibre mats that carry chopped filaments of reinforcement material suspended in a binding agent are a type of discontinuous fibre product.
The best composite manufacturing companies have several decades of experience and serve various markets, including the following:
They offer some of the following services:
- Production composite manufacturing
- Part trimming
- Composite tooling
- Kit cutting
- CNC cutting
- Composite engineering
- Quality inspection
- Composite problem solving
When selecting a composite manufacturing company, find one that prides itself on its track record of success on projects of varying sizes. They should also have a dedicated staff that’s experienced, skilled, and trained to use world-class equipment and technologies.
For example, with technology like the 6-axis robotic waterjet, 6-axis robotic router, 3-axis CNC, or the 5-axis CNC, they should improve the fit and finish of parts while cutting costs and time. Of course, they should also specialize in hand lay-up work for jobs that need a personal touch. Read More – CNC Machining.