Composites

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Mechanical and composite design engineering

Increasingly over recent years, the use of composite materials in our daily lives has become more prevalent and widely used in engineering projects across a multitude of industries. If your structure requires materials that are stiffness and weight are a driving factor then composites could offer a realistic solution.

Like all materials composites is not the solution to every problem. Carbon Fibre has become a buzz word, and its glossy look is probably used more for styling than its mechanical properties in many cases.

At Leggero Forte we have a true understanding of the materials having been involved with all stages, from the PAN manufacture of the fiber through to testing and beyond. We currently work in, but are not limited to the following fields:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Civil engineering
  • Cycling
  • Defence
  • Motorsport / Sport
  • Renewable Energy

Composites is a young industry and developments in fibers, matrixes’, and processing happen at a more prevalent rate than many other industries. These technological advancements have in many cases increased the usage of the materials less high end applications but we believe a fundamental understanding is still key to getting the most from your material, which is why industries call upon the services of experienced engineers such as Leggero Forte to ensure the best results.

What We Deliver

Composite Design

We have vast experience in many aspects of composite component manufacturing techniques. Our experience allows us to weigh up the pros and cos and suggest a suitable manufacturing solution to each specific program of work. Listed below are some of the more regular options:

Autoclave-based Prepregs and Tooling

Prepreg composites are a popular option in projects where the quantity of components is limits and / or weight and repeat-ability is very important. The raw material is a higher cost than other forms of composite, Industries such as aerospace, defense, sports products, renewable energy and motorsport including Formula 1, all of whom have adopted prepreg materials for various uses. Our experience in these fields, coupled to our expertise in tooling design and manufacture enables us to deliver autoclave-based prepreg designs and produced to meet the specifications of the task.

Resin Infusion and RTM Component and Tooling Design

The quality of the Tool and its design will make or break composite production. A good design will limit flash and hand finishing reducing peace part cost and maximizing profit. At Leggero Forte we lead the way in experienced, tool design and manufacture. Designing both hard and soft tooling we’ve worked on many programs from small-scale pre-production components to full 5 year plus production tooling for the aircraft industry using Pu and epoxy resin system as well as more specialized phenolic.

With regard to composite manufacturing processes we’ve developed, designed and project managed numerous systems including Resin Transfer Moulding equipment and resin infusion or injection processes.

Pattern and Tooling Design

Using our wealth of expertise and years of experience we’ve delivered pattern designs for a broad range of projects across a variety of industries. Working with our clients to get a full understanding of needs and specifications and combining this with our knowledge of the materials to be used we can design a full pattern suit which will meet the needs to of the end user as well as being as efficient as possible for the manufacturer, blending high quality with a cost-effective approach.

Melt / Wash Out Cores

Design and manufacture of melt out or wash out cores, be this molded, fully machined, or printed.

Intensifiers

Design and manufacture of composite silicon or metallic intensifiers in combination with pattern and tooling design.

Component Machining

We often find that structural composite components need sacrificial laminates and a machining operation, to achieve the higher tolerance work. Whilst this remains a facility with which we have experience we believe that this process can be minimized through a thorough approach to the design stage.

Using this approach has enabled us to provide a composite design and manufacture process more cost-effective and time-efficient for the client.

Jigs and Fixtures

We’ve worked on, developed and used a raft of tried and tested designs for many types of fixtures used in our composite engineering projects. These include:

  • Machining
  • Assembly
  • Bonding
  • Inspection

Testing

Our experience includes composite testing from specimen manufacture to environmental, abrasive and impact testing.