Prepreg Production – the sustainable way of boat building
Updated: Jul 24, 2022
Using prepregs in composite production will revolutionise the production process. At Aeolos we are focusing on using prepreg, because we drive our costs lower by increasing the output of our facility and decreasing labor time. With our efficient process we reduce the carbon footprint and we make our composite products to one of the most sustainable materials in construction and boat building.
Notus N1 fire retardant epoxy prepreg are used for the outer shell of Dubai's Museum of the Future. Over 600,000 m2 of prepreg materials have been supplied for the building's external façade panels.
The shell of the Museum of the Future is produced in prepreg by Nova Composites/Affan Industries.
A prepreg is a fiber pre-impregnated with resin. The laminate is cured with heat, and the lay-up time depends on the ambient temperature. The low-temperature prepregs made by the manufacturer NOTUS Composite in the United Arab Emirates cure with only 70 degrees, so they can be used in normal fibreglass/polyester moulds. The Low temperature curing resin systems are available with a massive range of unidirectional, multiaxial and woven fabric reinforcements in carbon, glass and aramid fibres. The materials we are using have specific tack levels and fiber/resign ratio for our process. Additional to that we use adhesive films to bond the sandwich core.
With minimum of 4 day open time below 30degrees ambient temperature the NOTUS Prepregs are perfect for big project and accurate laying process.
For our boats we are using mostly Carbon Prepregs, twill as first layer, then biaxial and unidirectional depending of the direction of forces. www.aeolosyachts.com
The main advantages:
Maximum strength characteristic
The more fibres you have in the lamimate, the stronger the laminate is. But all fibers need to becoveres by resign, otherwise the laminate will be weak. In a hand layup, it is a good result if you to achieve 40% fiber content. If you work with vacuum bagging, you can achieve 50% fiber content by pressing useless resign out.
In prepregs the fiber resign ratio is defined, and depending on the purpose it´s possible to reduce the resign up to 35%, which is impossible to achieve in normal hand layup.
The long open time means all fabrics can be placed exactly. Through the modification of tackiness a prepreg can be easily maneuvered around difficult angles without sticking to the tools but sticking bto the mould or sandwich material. In manufacturing of complex structures the use of prepregs can gain enormous throughput efficiencies and precision compared to hand layup.
The thickness of the ingredients are uniform and the application of the layers is easy to control. The means each part that comes out of the mould is nearly identical, there will neither be resin-rich areas nor dry spots.
Less waste, less mess
The problems of hand layup, high amount of resin, messy rollers, and drips – are no more a problem. All waste material can be used again for reinforcements or small parts.
Prepreg processing obtain a smooth, glossy surface by eliminating air bubbles.
Saves working time
No cleanup is required, no cleaning resins off brushes, rollers, no washing out resin baths and mixing equipment, no measuring resin levels. Workers begin their day by immediately producing a product.
Reduce curing time
After the heat curing is finished, prepreg is ready for further steps. You do not have to wait for a full cure like in a typical hand lamination.
Less products are involved in production, that means calculations are finished faster and less space is needed. Resin, mixing container, cleaning materials and more are not necessary.
Less production area
No resin mixing, staging and inventory rooms necessary are required for prepregs. A builder is saving space and time.
Better working enviroment
Less emissions of flammable or harmful gas leads to healthy enviroment, so workers can breathe easily. To maintain quality control and consistency, prepreg production is done in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment.
Less risk of fire
The low or no emissions of flammable and no required cleaning solvents reduces the risk of fire to almost zero.
Fire resistant products