Design –
The Process

The first stage of the process is designing a suitable laminate for the tube. We have proven techniques for this, using bespoke software and simulation tools to design the tube construction.

In addition we are able to draw on a wealth of experience and having produced tubes for literally thousands of applications we now have a great depth of empirical data which has been fed-back into our design processes.

Experience has taught us that knowing more about how the tubes are being used and the loads involved can significantly improve the design and enable us to make recommendations based on relevant expertise and experience. We understand the sensitivities surrounding some customer’s projects and are happy to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) if so required.

Alternatively, if the full loading scenario is not known, or this is hard to predict, then we can replicate the properties of any tube made in a different material used for the same purpose. If a customer has an existing supply of composite tubing we are also able to analyse this to determine the exact laminate.

Material Selection

In designing the laminate of the tube we can select from a large number of composite materials that we currently use and stock including, but not limited to:

  • High strength carbon fibre cloths in a number of weights of both Uni-Directional (UD) and woven formats.
  • Intermediate Modulus (IM), High Modulus (HM) and Ultra-High Modulus (UHM) carbon fibre cloths.
  • E-Glass/Epoxy materials in numerous weights and weaves.
  • More exotic materials such as S-Glass and Aramid.
  • Cosmetic outer weaves.

Of course, we can also source any specific material required by a customer so please contact us for further information about how we could meet your design specification.

Physical Dimensions

Our manufacturing process is based on a male-moulding technique and so the tooling we have determines the internal diameter of the tube.

We currently have over 200 tooling sizes ranging from 4mm to 500mm so it’s highly likely we can meet your requirements using existing tooling. However if we don’t have the size you need already then making new tooling is no problem.

From these internal diameters we can create any wall thickness that is required and so any conceivable outer diameter is achievable. The maximum length of tube varies with mandrel size but is restricted to 5.0m. For lengths beyond this, however, we are able to supply a proven joining system using internal or external joining sleeves.

In addition to this round profile tooling we also have a number of oval profile and tapered tools. If this is of interest then please contact us for full details.

Machining and Finishing

Often a customer will require one or more machining operations to be performed on the tube in order to meet the requirements of their application. We have extensive in-house machining facilities enabling us to perform most of these operations, including:

  • Centreless linishing and precision grinding to hit strict diametric tolerances or to prepare the surface of the tube for further finishing operations.
  • Precision machining between centres.
  • Hole drilling and slotting operations.
  • Paint facilities to finish the tube with Epoxy or PU paints including gloss or satin clearcoats or RAL colours.

Should we not be able to perform your required operations in-house we also have established links with a number of specialist composite machining companies with whom we work regularly.

For any enquiries regarding machining please contact us (link) and, where possible, please provide detailed drawings.

Surface finish and appearance

We can supply tubes with a large number of surface finish options/combinations depending on requirements. These don’t just include cosmetic finishes but also finishes for grip, durability, UV protection etc.  Some examples of these include:

  • Cosmetic woven finishes including 2×2 twills, plain weaves and texalium weave (gold and silver)
  • Sanded for smooth texture or matt,low reflection finish
  • Lacquered in high gloss,colour-tinted gloss, satin finish or painted with a colour
  • Glass fibre outer option for increased damage resistance or electrical insulation
  • Plastic coated for durability

Combinations of the above and more. Please contact us if you have specific finish requirements.