Imagine building the entire body of a sports car by fabricating individual carbon fiber panels via a manual layup process. Each panel would have its own tool that would be covered in carbon fiber prepregs before being cured in an autoclave. A team of workers could spend several days fabricating a single body.
This sort of fabrication is not at all uncommon. Manual layups are the normal way to fabricate such large parts. It may not be so normal in the future. Thanks to a company with a long history in Formula One racing, it might soon be possible to press carbon fiber body panels in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee.
Fast, Easy, and Repeatable
New Atlas reports that Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), having said goodbye to F1 racing in late 2019, is now working on its own commercial products involving both lightweight batteries and new carbon fiber technologies for the automotive industry. Their idea for pressing carbon fiber parts is not new, but their results are some of the most impressive the industry has seen.
Details of the pressing process are understandably scarce. WAE has no intention of giving away the store. Yet … Read the rest