Carbon fiber is light, strong, can be molding into complex shapes and doesn’t corrode in saltwater. In a lot of structures a honey comb or foam core can be incorporated in the design. This is a game changer for increasing stiffness and reducing weight. It also increases complexity in manufacturer and design. So if
your project is cost sensitive a solid laminate is likely cheaper but heavier/less stiff. If weight saving is the main criteria then a range of options are available.
I have an extensive background in the marine industry starting in my late teens. I worked in marine design with Marten Marine running the drawing office for many years. The company was involved in Volvo around the world campaigns and Americas cup campaigns and we made dozens of masts and booms for yachts from 20m to 64m in length.
Americas Cup Foils
Our large autoclave was ideal for curing the foils for the 2017 Americas cup boats. We cured foils for Team New Zealand, Oracle and Nippon. The main issue for the foils is inter-laminar shear towards the middle of the laminate stack near the elbow between the vertical section and the horizontal section. Testing was carried out on autoclave cured laminate vs vacuum cured laminate. The Autoclave cured samples were 14% to 18% stronger in inter-laminar shear.
We developed curing profiles to get the parts to full cure but by using the lowest possible temperature, thereby keeping thermal distortion to a minimum. It was also important that we ran a lot of thermo-couples across the part so that we could be confident that the whole part got the minimum curing temperature for the required amount of time
Traditionally rudder stocks were made out of stainless bar. Today carbon fibre is the main material because its so much lighter and stiffer.
We have cured and made several rudder stocks for a range of racing yachts. These stocks are closed molded so the lap joint between both sides is heavily loaded. As rudder stocks get bigger the design of the lap joint needs to get more sophisticated or the stock needs to be male molded.
The picture is of a TP52 rudder stock.
Carbon Boarding Ladder
Around 2005 a New Zealand company asked me to design a self-leveling boarding ladder for super yachts. which was light, durable and easily stored.
The carbon parts are autoclave cured. Because of the length we cured the side beams in our autoclave for many years. The top step clipped into a pair of brackets on the toe rail. The ladder self adjusts to the level of the dock the yacht is alongside. This was a very innovative design at the time and has been sold for many years.
Boarding Ladder 2
Furling Outhaul System
Carbon Fiber Gearbox
Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel
Get In Touch
If you are looking for advice or a consultant get in contact with us now! Its a simple process and we can look at bettering your project with carbon fibre today!