Enhancing Capability Through Investment – Insights into Surface Preparation

Carbon ThreeSixty, the structural composites specialist, are delighted to announce the recent delivery and commissioning of a specialist surface preparation cell at their facility in the South West of England.

The centrepiece of the cell is a Vapourmatt Lynx wet blasting machine, customised for the precisely controlled and repeatable preparation of polymer composites for downstream processes.

At Carbon ThreeSixty, the cell will further enhance our capability to prepare our advanced structural composite products for adhesive bonding, application of surface finishes such as paints, UV-protective clear coats and even elastomeric materials such as polyurethane.

Vapour blasting, also known as wet blasting or vapour honing, is the use of an abrasive media and compressed air to achieve a desired finish on a chosen surface. Unlike dry blasting, wet blasting uses a third element – liquid – to enhance the levels of surface finish that can be achieved. The benefit of including water is a much smoother and more consistent finish.

Within composites manufacturing, vapour blasting has become the de facto choice for surface preparation when seeking to maximise adhesion, shear strength and uniformity of bonded components. By lightly wet blasting the top layer of the components, the surface area for bonding is increased and any surface contaminants are removed. As well as improving adhesion, vapour blasting improves the quality of clear coating and painting processes, all whilst minimising the risk of fibre damage from manual or dry blast abrasion.

Ed Allnutt, Managing Director at Carbon ThreeSixty, said:

“Will and I have worked with a couple of really great surface preparation subcontractors over our careers, but shipping components off-site for such critical process steps is always a challenging risk to mitigate, so I’m delighted to have brought this process in-house. We’re looking forward to providing our clients ever great surety that every element of manufacturing is understood, repeatably controlled and above all reliable, and that includes surface preparation.”

“I love wet grit, me” he added wistfully.

Notes to editors

Carbon ThreeSixty provide lightweighting solutions through the use of advanced composite materials and manufacturing processes. They specialise in resin transfer moulding (RTM) processes and novel preforming techniques such as tailored fibre placement (TFP) to produce highly optimised and cost-effective structures. www.carbonthreesixty.com


Carbon ThreeSixty
Ed Allnutt (Managing Director)
+44 1225 810005


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