Composite Components and Tooling

To compliment our 5-Axis CNC Machining department, we offer high-quality composite component and tooling solutions at our factory in Hinckley, Leicestershire which is complete with state-of-the-art equipment and a dedicated, highly skilled team.

The ability to provide all production aspects in-house, helps us to keep complete control throughout each development and manufacturing stage. We have two dedicated temperature controlled clean rooms with fully equipped work stations that allow us to supply a genuine turnkey service for almost any composite requirements.

Penta Pattern & Model are able to process a multitude of prepreg materials. We predominantly work with:

  • Carbon fibre, which is available in a variety of colours
  • Kevlar
  • Fibreglass
  • Flax, a new greener composite alternative
Composite Components and Tooling at Pentapatterns

THE PROCESS

Storage
Our large walk-in freezer allows us to ensure that rolls of prepreg material are kept at a minimum of -18°C.

Kit Cutting
Material is cut to shape using our conveyorised kit cutting machine. We use the latest nesting software to ensure that materials are optimised to reduce waste while still maintaining aesthetic and functional fibre orientations.
We can provide kit-cutting as a stand-alone service, if required.

Laminate
Our specialist laminators will visually inspect the mould surface and each individual ply for imperfections before methodically laying plies into the mould. They will continue this process until they achieve the required thickness with local area plies, bootlace strips and inserts as required.

Vacuum Bag
Once the laminating stage is complete, the moulds are wrapped in a release film and breather cloth before being carefully placed into a vacuum bag. Air is then expelled through a vacuum connector which pulls the composite material closer to the surface of the mould, creating better consolidation.

Cure
The bagged moulds are placed into one of the two autoclaves at our factory, the Ø1.5m x 3m Italmatic autoclave or the Ø500mm x 1200mm(L) Dwell 280 autoclave and put through a pressurised cure. During the curing process, the resin heats up and flows across the surface of the mould and eventually cures in a hardened solid state. We do also offer autoclave cure cycles as a stand-alone service, if required.

For out of clave systems and post curing capabilities, we use a large curing oven measuring 2.5W x 2H x 2.1D.

Demould
Composite components that have been cured are removed from the bagging and carefully extracted from the mould, inspected and sent to finishing. The mould is then thoroughly cleaned and prepared to be used for another laminating stage, if required.

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FINISHING

The final elements of the composites process take place in our fully extracted finishing department. In this department, cured parts will be delicately trimmed to their final shape using a range of air powered grinders, diamond coated discs and other specialist equipment.

If a part requires bonding, the team use a variety of fixturing and structural adhesives to accurately bond components and assemblies together in our dedicated bonding room.

Composite components that require spray coating or lacquering will be paint prepped and coated in-house at our factory. Gloss, matt and satin finishes are available along with lacquering in a range of colours. Our spraying services are not limited to just composites, and are available across a number of areas.

    TALK TO THE EXPERTS

    Established in 1985, we have built a strong reputation for manufacturing excellent products within tight timescales and to extremely high tolerances. In order to achieve this, we use state of the art equipment and traditional, time honoured processes and skills.

    Call us on:
    01455 890 571