Composites are well suited to many applications in aerospace largely due to the versatility, strength, fatigue resistance and low weight. Once the necessary equipment has been purchased and the prototypes are designed and ready for use, composites are extremely cost effective for the automotive industry. They can be designed with many of the necessary requirements in mind to meet industry legislative requirements, particularly regarding safety and crash test performance. Thermoset composites absorb up to twice the energy of traditional steel and thermoplastics can absorb up to eight times the energy of steel. Composites also have the important benefit of being very low weight therefore far more fuel efficient and more easily recyclable.
Uses: Composites are used in all parts of both industries. In Aerospace, composites are particularly commonly used in the wing structure and complete wings, fuselage and fairings, the aircraft nose. In Automotive, composites are used throughout the cars. It is a very effective way to reduce the weight and therefore save energy and production costs in both industries.
Many typical composites are resin bonded fabric reinforced bushings bearings and wear pads used for many different applications in agriculture, especially in the very demanding and hardworking machinery.
Uses: Typical uses for composites in agriculture are in such applications as the combine harvesters, balers, pea harvesters, mowers, spraying equipment, heavy duty tractors and trailers and much more. The composites can be designed specifically for the demands of the job in hand. They are self-lubricating and durable with low friction and wear. This reduces the need for costly and time-consuming maintenance and increases the life span of the machinery. It also reduces the noise of the equipment when in use.
Quality and safety is heavily regulated in the food and beverage industries worldwide. It is therefore imperative that all machinery, equipment and packaging is monitored to meet regulations. Composite packaging can be designed to meet the exact requirements of different food types and aid in the safe and hygienic transportation and preservation of foods. Composites are widely used in the machinery which produces processed foods as it can be odour-free, corrosion resistant and sterilised.
Uses: Composite materials are used for autoclaves used for the sterilisation of equipment used in the food industry. Other applications include the packaging, filter plates, scrapers and conveyor belts and guide strips.
Hydraulic compatible composites have been designed to have high-load capabilities, low friction and a very long-life span with no swell and offering excellent hydraulic fluid compatibilities.
Uses: Typical applications in the hydraulics industry is for wear rings and bearing strips for use in hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders. We can custom make parts for different applications such as bearings and wear strips which operate in non- standard fluids.
Resin bonded composite materials are ideally suited for the Marine sector. Tufcot have created the Tufcot® T100 MP specifically for the Marine environment with many specific factors in mind.
Uses: The Tufcot® T100 MP is commonly used in rudder and pintle bushes in the Marine environment, it can be water, oil or grease lubricated and equally efficient in dry running conditions. Tufcot® T100 MP is typically used in watertight door bushes, deck winch bearings, anchor sheave bearings, deck crane bushes and bearings, stern roller and many more applications both above and below the water line.
Mechanical handling or otherwise known as material handling is the method in which materials are moved, stored, controlled and protected in manufacturing, distribution, consumption and disposal processes. Many maintenance needs and causes of downtime can be avoided by choosing composites rather than traditional metals. Composite polymers are designed not to rust, need less or no lubrication they are water and UV resistant and offer lower wear rates than metal bearings.
There are many ways in which composite materials are proving valuable to the medical world. One example is for prosthetic limbs or bone implants. There is evidence that using carbon composites can encourage natural healing of the surrounding damaged cells or ligaments. The composite can be designed to the patient’s exact requirements and matched to their measurements and shape ensuring a lifelike limb which functions almost as well as the skeletal limb.
Uses: Composites are widely used in medical equipment such as x-ray machines, various scanners, surgical tools, mobility aids and much more. There are numerous benefits including the fact that composites can be designed to be x-ray transparent, strong and light-weight, heat-resistant and moisture resistant, can be designed to mimic the bodies natural movements and have a very long-life span.
Composite materials have become increasingly common in applications in the mining, oil and gas sectors. This is largely due to the high cost of using more traditional steel or other metals and the benefits of using composites in its place. Composite material is far less likely to need costly maintenance or parts replaced. It is corrosion resistant and has a far better weight to strength ratio. Composites have proved far more reliable, much safer and less costly. Tufcot provide the Tufcot T400 range which is a fire-retardant grade of resin; crucial for these potentially dangerous environments.
Uses: Typical uses in these industries include wear sheaves, gears, conveyor rollers, BOP system bushings and wear pads, drill string handling equipment, piping systems and much more. Many different types of composites are used for each application. Glass fibre reinforced polymer composites are, for example, used for piping systems because of the tolerance to extremes in temperatures, pressures and extreme weather conditions. Another example is the use of composites on the tipping hinges of Iron ore cars in mines. For this application Tufcot provide the perfect material. It is a self-lubricating composite which can tolerate loads of up to 800kg/cm².
The most commonly used composite in the rail industry is fibre-reinforced polymer composites (FRPs). This is because the labour cost and time is significantly less than more traditional materials and it is perfect for many applications including, platform systems, vestibule pods and much more. Tufcot provide the Tufcot T200 range which can be used in certain applications where slightly higher operating temperatures may be experienced.
Uses: FRPs are used on the lineside, exterior and interior panels of trains and can be specifically designed and manufactured for the application remotely and then installed quickly and efficiently. This reduces disruption to running times and can easily be installed out of normal business hours. Composites are now also being designed to be graffiti proof and fire retardant leading to huge cost savings long-term.
Composites are commonly used in structural engineering because the composite can be designed and manufactured to exacting specifications to overcome design problems and limitations. There is so much design flexibility that composite material perfectly suits complex architectural design, replicating buildings of historical interest or for renovation purposes, low thermal and electrical conductivity, reduced risk of swelling, rust and corrosion,
Uses: Structural engineers often favour composite materials for such applications as interior and exterior cladding, rain screens and curtain walls, framing, insulations, roofing, bridges and much more.
As with most industries composites are commonly preferred for their ability to be cost effective, reduced use of energy, long lasting, durable and efficient. Many of the parts needed in textile, print and paper machinery are high-pressure laminates, low-pressure laminates, tubes, flexible materials, machined parts and auxiliary materials.
Uses: Typical applications in the textile, printing and paper sector are dye vat bearings, doll head bushes, gears for looms, felting rollers, sheaves and paper mill bearings.