Updated: Nov 21, 2018
Another 'brilliant' meeting with ASC-A today where the main aim of the meeting was to tidy up the specifications of all the components for manufacture testing & compliance. This included the final resins to be used, properties of composite fabrics, lifting specifications and more.
A few changes to the system including a different way to make the sandwhich panels (manually here in Australia) which we have worked out to be a much better outcome, but also size now unconstrained, price slightly cheaper and speed much higher when factoring in shipping from overseas. So this is a great result.
We have also confirmed (our green) sandwich foam core specifications required. Initial estimates that the R-Rating will slightly rise and acoustic will be slightly better. So this also is a good result. We havent sourced a supplier yet, will do this later in the week (should be easy enough).
So this is now a massive milestone achieved and we are now fully in the testing and compliance stage.
Once concern has been how long and hard it will be to manufacture the first pure carbon fibre structural members. We have now got final pricing for the new moulds we need for the pultrusion and what we thought was going to the final pricing for the first 1,000m of profiles. However we are growingly concerned with not having full control over this process as feedback on our specs seem to change from week to week. For the past month or so we have been contemplating buying our own machines and doing all ourselves.
There are extremely few people that do pultrusion in Australia and even less who do carbon fibre pultrusion which from what I hear is a real art.
This indecision as to who to engage to do our carbon fibre structural members is (was) a real concern as they are so important in our system. But today we found the solution (as so often happens with these ACS-A meetings!).
Without giving away the actual solution which is 'very cool', the solution which is based around the way we present the carbon fibre fabric is so very easy to do, that both we definitely can do our own pultrusion. Better yet we can do the first 1,000m or so manually in the factory with no machine / extrusion moulds or other timely equipment. Essentially this means we can start with these 'tomorrow' or at least as soon as this custom fabric can be made available to us. So this is very exciting.
The manual method will actually be a better product, however way to slow to manufacture manually, so Pultrusion is still the method of choice; the difference is this is stage 2 now.
So, full steam ahead...