Chesterfield-based Composites Evolution has developed a new hybrid composite tooling system using flax fibre reinforcements.
The tooling prepreg system, developed in partnership with moulders KS Composites, uses a hybrid combination of carbon and flax reinforcements.
Typically, only carbon bulking plies are used but in the new system these are replaced with flax which is said to be more cost-effective.
"We're pleased to be offering our customers new material options that challenge conventional practices and provide them with real benefits,” commented Composite Evolution’s commercial manager, Gareth Davies.
“In a similar manner to our fire-resistant PFA prepregs, we're bringing bio-based materials to the market that provide real technical and commercial advantages in addition to their sustainability credentials.”
Additional benefits of using flax are said to include a reduction in tool weight and a reduced environmental impact.
In trials performed by KS Composites, the new material has successfully completed over 400 thermal cycles and a mould tool manufactured from the system is now used in routine production.