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Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes
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Making the Move to Closed Moulding Processes

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  • 1. The Marine Innovation Service<br />Consultancy and knowledge/technology transfer service for the marine industry<br />ERDF funding can underwrite some/all of the cost of consultancy for Cornish businesses<br />Initially focussed on composite materials, but all aspects of the marine industry covered<br />www.marineinnovationservice.co.uk<br />
  • 2. Existing processing methods<br />Hand built<br />Open moulded chopped strand mat and woven rovings of E-glass, hand consolidated in polyester resin<br />Bespoke, hand built joinery made by time served craftsmen<br />
  • 3. Why change processing methods?<br />Legislation<br />Elusive proposed EU Regulations on styrene exposure<br />Environmental<br />Less material, less waste, more easily driven hull forms – lower fuel consumption under power<br />Better working environment for shop floor staff<br />Cleaner<br />Lower styrene emissions<br />Business plan<br />Business plan requires greater efficiency:<br />High volume production required to cope with predicted demand and a good number of boats needed to establish racing class<br />
  • 4. Why change processing methods?<br />The market for the established range doesn’t necessarily lend itself to higher technology processing – owners respect ‘hand built’ style and are suspicious of cored structures...<br />However - new models are for new markets and the business model has to be most important driver for adoption of new technology<br />Risk associated with introduction of new processing methods minimised by concentrating on one project<br />
  • 5. Study outputs<br />Pre-pregs were discounted on grounds of cost – both materials and processing (oven)<br />Wet lay/vacuum consolidation does not give significant enough differences in working conditions from the existing processes to be considered<br />This leaves resin infusion and resin film infusion, including the SP Sprint system<br />A cost and weight comparison was carried out, based on the specific boat (a yet to be developed 37ft model)<br />
  • 6.
  • 7. Current wet lay/hand consolidation<br />Low material cost, high labour cost per unit<br />High structural weight<br />Resin Infusion<br />Higher material cost, lower labour cost per unit<br />Lower structural weight - 56.1% of current lay-up<br />Resin Film Infusion<br />Much higher material cost than resin infusion and no reduction in labour cost<br />Lowest structural weight - 49.8% of current lay-up<br />Wet lay-up<br />Nett Weight of composite structure 8,231kg<br />Projected Weight inc 10% margin 9,055kg<br />Cost of composite Materials £25,036<br />Projected cost including margin £27,539<br />Labour (GBP) 535hrs @ £30/hr £16,050<br />£68,625<br /> Cost/weight = 100%<br /> <br />Resin infusion<br />Nett Weight of composite structure 4,620kg<br />Projected Weight inc 10% margin 5,082kg<br />Cost of composite Materials £35,517<br />Projected cost including margin £39,069<br />Labour (GBP) 400hrs @ £30/hr £12,000<br /> £86,586<br /> Cost/weight = 126%<br /> <br />Resin film infusion<br />Nett Weight of composite structure 4 098kg<br />Projected Weight inc 10% margin 4,508kg<br />Cost of composite Materials £41,570<br />Projected cost including margin £45,727<br />Labour (GBP) 400hrs @ £30/hr £12,000<br />Amortized oven cost £2,000<br /> £101,297<br /> Cost/weight = 148%<br />
  • 8. Hurdles/changes/implications<br />Capital investment<br />Mould design to accommodate vacuum system<br />Vacuum pumps and monitoring equipment<br />Consumables cost<br />Vac bags, sealing tape, pipe work etc<br />‘Clean space’ on shop floor amongst other ongoing projects<br />Staff development<br />Getting the details right<br />
  • 9. The learning curve<br />Understanding key processing principles is one thing, but practical application is another!<br />Help and support is available<br />Marine Innovation Service<br />Other industry specialists e.g. Morley Composites<br />Supply chain e.g. SP/High Modulus, resin supply companies and firms such as Composite Integration<br />Small section trials and practice runs<br />
  • 10. Summary<br />Driver to change processing method has to come from a sound business plan<br />Choice of processing has to be relevant to the end product <br />You don’t need to make sweeping changes... incremental introduction of process change allows analysis of impact<br />Bolting on higher technology can work, but new projects with technology built in from day one give greater flexibility<br />
  • 11. Summary<br />Resin infusion offers the lowest financial outlay for laminate quality and working environment improvement as no oven needed<br />However – developments of low temperature pre-pregs continue to bring these materials within reach of the most basic ovens (500C)<br />The learning curve is steep – don’t try and reinvent the wheel as there is plenty of help out there, from other businesses to the supply chain<br />
  • 12. Alex Whatley<br />Marine Innovation Service Manager<br />alex.whatley@cornwall.ac.uk<br />07771907266<br />www.marineinnovationservice.co.uk<br />Next event:<br />Closed moulding practical workshop 15th March<br />

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