Southern Manufacturing

ACG Prepregs Used in Sunseeker Sunroofs

09 October 2009

Variable Temperature Moulding (VTM) carbon epoxy prepregs from Advanced Composites Group Ltd (ACG), have been used by Trend Marine Products Ltd to develop a line of rigid, lightweight sliding carbon fibre/toughened glass sunroofs.

ACG’s vacuum only processing VTM260 Series prepregs were used in this application, which required composite materials displaying a variety of mechanical properties.

The roof panel, as with any structure positioned high on the boat, is weight critical. The weight has a direct bearing on the stability of the craft and also the mechanisms which operate the roof. Equally, the roof structure must be stiff. Its sleek, slender skeletal frame must span a 3m aperture while also supporting the plate glass glazing, and prevent flexure, which could jam the mechanism or cause vibration at the near 50knot speeds that the Sunseeker yachts can achieve.

In addition to build quality, the overall finish was crucial to Sunseeker. ACG’s VTF261 cosmetic surface ply was chosen to create a “carbon” surface finish.

Using ACG’s prepregs, Trend Marine has an established track record of making sliding carbon roofs in the marine industry. The company claims that due to the success of this project, Sunseeker are considering employing the concept on other models.

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