Pilot-Scale Manufacturing & Prototyping

Our suite of pilot-scale manufacturing facilities are at your disposal - prepregging, compression moulding, resin transfer moulding, injection moulding, and many more.

Services

Pilot-Scale Manufacturing & Prototyping

Pilot-Scale Manufacturing & Prototyping

Our development centre is home to a wide variety of composites processing equipment, covering both thermosetting and thermoplastic materials and ranging in size from laboratory-scale to industrial pilot production.

These facilities are at your disposal to support your own development activities, whether it’s for production trials, low volume production runs, test specimen manufacturing or component prototyping.

Where existing production methods are either unsuitable or unavailable, we have the expertise and experience required to design, build and commission bespoke pilot-scale processing equipment.

Capabilities

Compression Moulding

We have a range of heated presses and tools for the consolidation of thermosetting and thermoplastic composite laminates and sandwich structures

Fibre Commingling

The blending of two different yarns to produce a single mixed yarn - used for producing hybrid reinforcements for composites such as carbon/glass or carbon/aramid

Hand Lay-Up

A straightforward production process in which reinforcing fibres are placed in an open-mould and manually wetted-out with resin using brushes or rollers

Injection Moulding

A high volume manufacturing process in which a molten thermoplastic (sometimes containing short reinforcing fibres) is injected into a mould at high pressure

Microwave Heating

We have developed techniques for rapidly and uniformly heating thermoplastic composite and self-reinforced polymer (SRP) sheet materials using microwaves

Prepregs

Development and pilot-scale production of novel preimpregnated ("prepreg") composites via both solvent and hot-melt processing routes

Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM)

A well-controlled production process in which a liquid resin is injected into a dry fibre preform within a closed, matched metal mould

Thermoforming

The shaping of thermoplastic matrix composite sheets through the application of pressure and heat, usually performed using matched metal tools in a heated press

Thermoplastic Pultrusion

We have pilot lines for the thermoplastic pultrusion of unidirectional fibre-reinforced tapes and rods, including an optional facility for the chopping thereof

Vacuum Forming

A method of forming thermoplastic sheets in which the heated material is moulded to shape by drawing it over a mould by the application of a vacuum

Vacuum Infusion

A flexible method of producing thermosetting composite parts in which a liquid resin is drawn through a dry fibre preform under atmospheric pressure by the application of a vacuum

Associated Case Studies

Fibre Reinforced Thermoplastic Tapes

Automated tape-laying or winding using fibre-reinforced thermoplastic tapes has advanced significantly over recent years.

Graphene-Enhanced Automotive Seat Back

Graphene-Enhanced Composites Graphene is a carbon nanomaterial that can be added in small quantities to a polymer composite to enhance its properties or even introduce new functionality. Improvements in mechanical performance, thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity have all been observed, allowing the use of composites to be extended into new areas Automotive Seat Back This […]

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What our clients say

They were selected as the development partner for novel materials structures and were instrumental in supporting strategic market analysis, leading to development programs on unique products. Their staff engaged and worked effectively in a multi partner framework engaging effectively with adjacent industrial partners. As a result it was possible to significantly increase project velocity, broaden the scope of the work and evaluate the market relevance of development ideas. They continue to a valued development partner.

Senior Director Business Development,

Amongst all the providers of technical support to users and intended users of composite materials, they offer a unique blend of expertise, skills and knowledge in this area that has been recognised by RAPRA and its members. RAPRA is therefore proud to have them as a key part of its Technical Support Network that it uses to serve members and wider Industry.

Steve Shaw, Executive Director,

As a small company with a small budget we have been able to utilise the expertise of their consultants Chris Hare, Joe Carruthers and Ben Hargreaves. Through their in-depth knowledge and understanding of both composites and business needs, our composites for footwear have improved in strength, durability and manufacturability.

Adri Hartveld, Founder & Managing Director,

We commissioned them to review the projected demand for composites among UK based automotive suppliers and the associated opportunity gaps in the UK composites supply chain.

The purpose of the research was to firstly establish views on the adoption of volume composites amongst automotive OEM’s and secondly, to assess if Tees Valley could be positioned to host known ‘energy intensive’ segments of the composites supply chain, such as precursor and carbon fibre manufacture. Tees Valley is Western Europe’s 2nd largest chemical producing region and offers embedded power generation and private wire networks enabling companies to benefit from lower power and utilities costs compared to many other UK manufacturing locations.

We selected them to deliver the work based on their strong insights and contacts within the UK’s composites industry as well as their expertise in the application of composite solutions in automotive and other key UK advanced manufacturing segments

We are truly delighted with the resulting intelligence as it gives Tees Valley a clearer view on the investor opportunities that best align with the unique assets and skills base in our area. We would have no hesitation in recommending them and in using them again in the future.

Neil Kenley, Director of Business Investment,