As the 36th America’s Cup campaign gathers momentum, ELG Carbon Fibre’s technical partnership with INEOS Team UK continues to flourish. To date, the recycled carbon fibre convertor has processed over 1.2 tonnes of the British Challengers waste materials and used these fibres to produce two cradles for race boat ‘Britannia’. Moulds for the hull regions of the team’s test boats have also been manufactured using the same technology.
INEOS Team UK’s waste comprised of pre-impregnated and cured parts from the current campaign which ELG has subsequently reprocessed into thermoset and thermoplastic compounds and non-woven mats.
Britannia was officially launched last month at the INEOS Team UK’s headquarters in Portsmouth. The 75ft foiling monohull is the first of its size and represents an entirely new breed of race boat. A structure of this proportion requires a strong and stable cradle to support the boat in transit.
ELG’s non-woven carbon fibre mats were used to produce the curved cradles the hull sits upon. The company’s technical service engineers were on hand to provide guidance about the specific processing requirements for these materials. Vacuum infusion was selected as the most economic method for manufacturing these parts, although ELG materials can also be used in prepreg and liquid compression moulding processes. ELG’s products were also incorporated into the hull mould, which again was made using a vacuum infusion process.
Alan Boot, Naval Architect at INEOS Team UK, comments “ELG’s technology was ideal for the cradles application. Their recycled materials are easy to handle, perform well and fitted straight into our production processes. As an America’s Cup Team we hope to lead the way showing other manufacturers you can avoid putting materials in landfill, close the loop and reuse the fibres with stunning results. This is a game changing approach to marine manufacturing that we are delighted to be part of.”