In order to reduce waste and production time in the construction of large composite structures, the Dutch-based company Curve Works has developed an approach based on the assembly of composite panels. A series of double-curvature composite sandwich panels has been produced for a variety of applications using an automated adaptive mold both to thermoform 3D core kits and to infuse parts.
The entire process, from panel production to structural assembly, took only 14 working days.
What is a composite sandwich panel?
A sandwich construction is simply built up of rigid foam core and reinforcing skins. For structural light-weight uses, the skins are typically fiber reinforced plastics, such as carbon fiber epoxy and glass fiber polyester but many different combinations of fiber and resins are possible to achieve the required performance within the budget available.
For an eco-friendly design
With this reconfigurable mould technology, it is now possible to build singly and doubly curved shapes without the waste from tooling. Being lightweight and extremely efficient, a composite sandwich is key in eco-design. This because more than 70% of the volume of a sandwich panel is simply air!