Composite Components is an advanced composite manufacturer that performs / offers closed moulding, compression moulding, and open mould pre-impregnated composite lamination services. We have computer-aided design / computer-aided manufacturing (CAD / CAM) capabilities and export components worldwide.
Composite Components is currently involved in defence, sea, land and aerospace, automotive, mining, oil and gas, architectural, medical and recreational sectors.
Component manufacture methods
We custom design and manufacture components and assemblies using fabrics such as carbon, kevlar and glass fibre amongst others.
We also recognise and use other methods such as resin transfer moulding (RTM) or vacuum infusion, which are known as closed moulding techniques and utilise resin systems, including polyester, vinylester and epoxy.
Utilising these processes, high-quality parts are produced due the controlled resin / reinforcement ratios. An often overlooked benefit of these practices is the clean and toxin / fume-free workplace environment that comes with these advanced manufacturing methods.
CAD modelling for computer analysis and 3D models
Composite Components has in-house CAD capabilities and creates computer models for master patterns, moulds or further computer analysis such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) or finite element analysis (FEA). We also receive and update 3D models according to client specifications.
We embraced this technology from the beginning of our company and since then have been fostering good relationships with CAM designers and engineers to maximise the benefits that CAD / CAM / FEA / CFD and other computer analysis can create.
Project assembly and equipment
Within our 600m² premises, we have a large area for assembly of projects, a temperature-controlled clean room for laminating and production of components, and a dedicated trimming and drilling room to maintain a clean and dust-free environment to work in.
We run two high-temperature ovens for curing of parts and post curing of assemblies. The larger oven measures 5.5m x 2m x 2m internal capacity operating up to 140°C, delivering consistent (high) vacuum pressure during cure cycles.
Additional production capacity in enhanced by our 35t hydraulic heated press with a platen size of 1,000mm x 600mm x 250mm, capable of reaching 200°C in 30 minutes for rapid production of composite parts. We predominantly use pre-preg materials so our custom-made, walk-in freezer houses up to 20 rolls of different materials.
We also have a computer numerical control (CNC) router for trimming machining tasks and we designed and built a CNC cutter plotter measuring 6m x 2m to accurately plot and cut our reinforcement materials for production runs generated from the CAD / CAM software.
In addition, we make extensive use of our five 3D fused deposition modelling (FDM) plastic printers and use them for prototyping, master patterns, full size accurate moulds and scale models, and are currently working on a 3D scanner to accurately ‘map’ structures and objects into a 3D point cloud before translating that into a 3D CAD model.
Current and past work – UAV target drone airframe construction
Composite Components were contracted by Air Affairs Australia to structurally design, conduct material selection and manufacture the Phoenix Target Drone Airframe in 2005.
Since then we have manufactured more than 60 autonomous-flight target drones for Air Affairs Australia. The all-composite epoxy / fibreglass ‘pre-preg’ construction is the key element in the success of this target drone. The airframe incorporates approved fire, smoke, toxicity (FST) materials, ensuring in the event of a fire the airframe will not propagate that fire and self-extinguish, a unique point of difference from other drones.
The 10kg airframe weight ensures the drones are easily catapult launched and are able to accelerate up to and exceed 350k, with a maximum altitude of 20,000ft. Equipped with a parachute for recovery and a fully autonomous GPS autopilot for guidance, this drone has an endurance time of 90 minutes and can withstand high G loads during the high-speed flights.
Composite UAV engine components
Composite Components has been producing engine shrouds and aero fairings for Orbital Engine since 2012 after they received a production order from IAI Textron / Aerosonde for a US Marines procurement contract.
The completion of the Textron contact led to an order from Boeing for UAV engines to suit the new Scan Eagle design. The Textron order saw more than 300 engine shrouds produced over one year.
The approach and design of the engine shrouds for both products are different, but both designs dealt with factors such as allowance for damage while continuing flight operations, corrosion, aerodynamic engine efficiencies and weight.
About Composite Components
Composite Components is managed and operated by Glen Oldfield, who has more than 30 years experience and is well regarded in the composites industry. The company works with composite manufacturers and suppliers worldwide, sourcing materials for research, development and manufacturing purposes.
In 2006, we purchased our workspace facility, which has been in operation over the last ten years with all the plant and equipment required to manufacture innovative composite and technical solutions. We are a small company that consistently deliver strong solutions across a broad range of fields and received an Australian Design Award in 2006, as well as JEC composites nominations in 2004 and 2010.