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Motorsport engineering specialist BERU f1systems has opened a new composites facility that will offer motorsport and aerospace companies a high temperature, high pressure 5m x 2m autoclave to develop advanced, complex and high quality prototype and production composite components.
The 350ºC autoclave, believed to be one of only a handful in the UK, is intrended for developing temperature resistant and low toxicity composites whilst the 200PSi pressure enhances quality even on intricate and complex parts.
“Through our Wire in Composite (WiC) aerospace development programmes and our Factor 001 composite bicycle, we are looking at sophisticated materials that can survive extended periods in high temperatures, together with a separate requirement for exceptional quality,” says managing director John Bailey. “Our new autoclave will help us develop lightweight and durable solutions to increase reliability, product quality or reduce weight.”
Installed in BERU f1systems’ newly constructed Technical Centre in Diss, Norfolk, the autoclave is accompanied by a new preparation area with automatic cutting table and walk-in freezer for storing materials. With a significant increase in ongoing composite work, for both wiring looms and their WiC technology, the firm will also retain its existing 2m*1m autoclave. The larger size autoclave will allow BERU f1systems to manufacture larger units, such as airboxes, aero and chassis tubs.
“Our F1 wiring harnesses are increasing in complexity, requiring more integration with structural parts, ECUs and junction boxes,” continues Bailey. “As usage grows, we must develop derivatives that will allow composites to function for extended periods, often in high temperature or harsh environmental conditions.”
“Our motorsport heritage drives us to develop the lightest, most durable solution,” concludes Bailey. “We have been able to save weight and cost on existing composite parts by applying our design principles.”
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