Cobra reports that it has opened a new prepreg compression molding production line.
According to the company, it can now produce prepreg carbon parts with a final surface finish straight from the mold tool. Although Cobra has produced prepreg parts for several years, most previous production has been via autoclave or vacuum bag processing. More recently, a faster production process was required.
Currently, the new line is producing monolithic carbon fiber wing and mast components for Phantom Windsurfing and MFC boats. Cobra has developed processes to analyze each new compression molding part and produce a ply book of 2D shapes. Individual prepreg plies are stacked, preformed in low temperature tooling, and then loaded into steel mold tools for the final compression molding cure cycle. ‘We can offer customers extremely rapid prototyping, with full prepreg parts available within ten days,’ said Pierre Olivier Schnerb, CTO. ‘Our own ply book development process is a critical part of this rapid response, helping us to define a full ply book for each mold geometry in only a few hours. […] We were clear from the outset that we had to remove the need for a traditional multi-layer clear coat. It was a challenge, but we now make highly structural parts with the required surface finish straight from the mold.’ The company says that it is currently scaling up with a second line planned to come on stream in the second half of 2021. This additional capacity will support prepreg component production for applications such as foils, prosthetics, automotive and motorcycle components.
This story uses material from Cobra, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.