RTM process used to simulate wood
Manufacturers and designers are faced with a wide choice of cosmetic finishes when using composites, and choosing the best one for a specific application can be a complex process.
Gelcoats, paints, lacquers, in-mould coating and moulded textures can all used to produce different effects.
Composite Integration customer Jo Bird specialise in manufacturing life-saving and fire safety equipment cabinets for a range of industrial sectors including marine, oil and gas and industrial/commercial.
Their reputation is based on over thirty years of designing and manufacturing composite structures for use in very demanding environments.
With new products aimed at the high-end marine market, the challenge was to develop a surface finish that would maintain the high levels of environmental protection whilst providing an aesthetically pleasing cosmetic finish.
Using their experience in RTM processing, Jo Bird have developed an in-mould technique of simulating a natural wood finish that maintains the necessary levels of corrosion and wear resistance in line with their Lloyds and ABS approvals.
At this stage Jo Bird are understandably resistant to divulge the technical details of their proprietary technique but it’s great to see such an inventive idea being commercialised.