We are specialists in composite tube design and composite tube manufacture. We have many years experience and are able to manufacture carbon fibre tubes for any application. Using a number of composite tube manufacturing processes, we are able to produce tubes diameters from Ø 5mm – 500mm, and lengths up to 5m.
We have a vast range of existing tooling including rounds, squares, ovals and tapers, or where necessary we make our own tooling in-house.
All our composite tubes are manufactured using Out of Autoclave (OoA) techniques and the highest quality pre-preg materials to guarantee high fibre volume fraction and low void content.
We use and stock a large range of these materials in different reinforcements, weights, weaves and moduli. We also stock pre-preg with specialist resin systems such as fire retardancy and high temperature (Tg) systems including Cyanate Esters.
We offer numerous surface finish options as detailed below and can perform additional machining and assembly operations.
Composite Design Process
To maximise the advantages of composites it is essential that the construction of the tube is correctly optimised for its intended application. Composites are orthotropic, and a tube’s properties are a function of the materials and lay-up used in its construction. As such, 2 visually identical tubes can exhibit vastly different properties.
Carbon Fibre Tubes Ltd can work to exact customer-supplied laminate specifications or draw upon extensive cross-industry experience to advise and input on the composite design. With our depth of expertise and composite application experience, our team of highly specialised mechanical engineers and designers are ideally placed to work alongside your project team, engineers or end users.
To compliment our decades of composite manufacturing knowledge, CFT use a number of bespoke software tools to optimise our composite designs for strength, stiffness, weight, or any other criteria. Once the design is complete we have the ability to feed this into our Finite Element Analysis (FEA) modelling software to simulate the carbon fibre tube under loading and ensure it performs as expected. We regularly work with external test houses to validate our composite tube designs and feedback into our models.
The design process does not end here though. Once tubing is supplied, we work closely with our customers to gather practical data on how the tubes perform in their intended environment. We use this information to improve our processes and make recommendations for future design iteration.
We have particular experience in bonding composites to other materials and can input/advise on joint-design and adhesive selection.
Composite Manufacturing Process
CFT are domestic leaders in composite tube manufacture, with a full range of capabilities to meet our customer’s requirements.
For composite tubes in diameters up to 150mm Ø we produce most of our tubing using pre-preg roll wrap production technique:
Customer benefits include:
For larger diameters (over Ø 150mm) we have developed a proprietary sheet winding process which allows us to make tubes up to Ø 500mm with tight tolerances and exacting finish requirements.
Both techniques can produce tubes of non-round geometer and tapering profile. However, we also offer additional moulding techniques to create composite tubes with curved or complex geometry. We have a developed a bespoke process for producing curved tubes. Please contact us for more information about this niche capability.
CFT also manufacture non-tubular composite parts from techniques such as closed-tool bladder moulding, compression moulding, resin infusion and RTM. More info can be found here.