This is where things get a little more exciting! CNC machining is where we cut your product or product moulds from material such as foam, wood or metal to create a pattern or mould.
With an accuracy of 0.05mm over 3m these machines are far more accurate than us humans and allow us to produce components with very tight tolerances.
Initial component design
With all projects, an initial idea stage is carried out . This is where we take a simple idea that you have and develop it with you to help take it to that next level and ahead of your competitors.
We can assist with drawings, ideas and help with how an item will be produced to save you production costs and increased productivity.
With our combined experience across a wide range of disciplines in the Composite industry, CFUKC are perfectly placed to offer a comprehensive consultancy service.
We can draw on experience and expertise in raw material and resin chemistry, through to product development and manufacture.
Since October 2015, CFUK have been the UK and Northern Europe sales agents for Engineered Textile Solutions (ETS), based in the USA, who have a technical and supply partnership with composite fibre producers, fabric weavers, and prepreg manufacturers in South Korea.
Shipping from a freezer storage facility at a central location near Preston, we can offer a series of high quality Carbon, E-glass, S2 glass, and Aramid based prepregs at competitive prices, along with competent technical assistance from both a raw material and product design perspective.
Current expertise is focused around the Sport & Leisure, Medical, and Automotive sectors, but we are looking to expand across all composite market sectors.
Composite mould making
Once your patterns have been machined and finished to a high standard ready for moulding, we will look to make production moulds. This is made in the same manner as we produce composite components by laying up pre preg carbon fibre over the pattern.
Once this is done we apply vacuum pressure on the components which requires the pattern and the mould to be placed inside a bag and then the bag is placed inside an autoclave to add additional pressure and heat.
Once all the moulds have been released from the patterns after curing, the next stage is to clean and trim them up to ensure all rough edges are removed, polish them up and apply release agent.
Composite materials are then applied in the desired layup schedule to ensure the characteristics required are met. Once the desired thickness is achieved, the mould with the material stack placed inside will be put into a vacuum bag and vacuumed to 1bar negative pressure. Components are then autoclaved to complete the curing stage.
Proto-typing is an essential part of the product development, often the culmination of much Research & Development. It allows the opportunity to test a component in situ, iron out any unforeseen problems, and make final tweaks before committing to production tooling and series manufacture.
With our combined experience across a wide range of disciplines in the Composite industry, we believe CFUKC are perfectly placed to offer a comprehensive R&D / component proto-typing service.
With expertise in raw material and resin chemistry, through to product development and manufacture, combined with our on site equipment, industry contacts, and general creativity, we can quickly turn ideas in to reality.
With our fully isolated clean prepreg layup room, and 1.6 x 12.00 metre autoclave with enough lines and connectors for up to 52 vacuum bags, CFUKC can offer series manufacture of composite components. Furthermore, the size of our autoclave vessel means large components are not a problem. For smaller parts, we have the option of using our smaller autoclave.
Once an initial idea has been completed or you have a part you want drawn and replicated, we can help capture this information and create a CAD file that will have the design and sizes you require. Once a file of your idea is produced we can really go to town and offer FEA stress analysis, fluid dynamics and photo like rendering that will help you visualise your design before its even been made. With this CAD file, we will create our tooling drawings.
These are drawings that create the moulds to make your parts. They differ slightly from your finished item and normally include split lines where moulds need to separate and other vital information that is required for prototype and production use. Finally, CAM drawings are produced to allow the machine to read our CAD drawings. These CAM files contain datum points, machine tool choices and cutting paths.