Fibreglass + Composites

Composites have been around for hundreds of years in the form of mud/straw bricks, papier mache and concrete – all combinations of two or more materials.

These days, ‘composites’ means a polymer resin reinforced with glass, kevlar or carbon fibres.

Composites are very strong, flexible, lightweight, non-conductive, insulating and weather-proof. They often replace traditional wood or metals.

Composites are versatile – they can be moulded into complex shapes, colours and textures to suit thousands of applications … aircraft, boats, automobiles, racing cars, bath tubs, shower enclosures, swimming pools, spa pools, fuel storage tanks, water tanks, roofing, pipes, building structures, cladding, kayaks, surfboards, racing bicycles, motorbikes, playground equipment, medical casts, tool handles, etc.

Have a look at some of the fields we work in:

Composites processes that we use

Resin Infusion

State-of-the-art technology, whereby resin is introduced to the mould under a vacuum. Once all the reinforcing fibres and core have been wetted out, the final item is light weight and maximum strength with a precision finish.

Fi Innovations are experts in resin infusion.  Top-of-the-line vacuum pumps, and a dedicated infusion room, allow us to handle the most technical projects. Our experienced infusion staff have completed a range of work, from snazzy snare drums to stunning Shotover jet seating pods, even sewer pipes and super-size chemical-resistant flat panels.
Resin infusion (also known as vacuum infusion) is a modern technique, where the reinforcing fibre layers are laid dry into a mould. A release fabric is laid over, then porous mesh and tubes are carefully arranged on top to direct the flow of resin. The mould is sealed with a special plastic film or flexible silicone bag and a 99% vacuum is applied. Finally, an exact quantity of catalysed resin is allowed to infuse though the compacted laminate. 
The benefits of resin infusion, compared to traditional laminating methods, include:
  • Optimal resin-to-fibre ratio
  • Stronger laminate
  • Minimum weight
  • Lower number of voids
  • Reduced operator exposure to harmful chemicals
  • Reduced resin usage with cost savings
  • Easier ply lay-up
  • High quality exposed carbon finish if desired

Our other Composites processes

Our staff are skilled in a wide range of processes, so we are able to use the most cost-efficient one for your project.

Hand lay

Fibre reinforcement layers are placed in the mould, then the catalysed resin is brushed on. Skilled workers can keep the laminate thickness and resin-to-glass ratio under control. It is suitable for low-to-medium production runs, where only one finished face is required.

Laminating gun

A chopper gun sprays a mix of chopped-strand glass fibres, resin and catalyst into the mould. This is a quick method for producing large items, complex shapes or multiples of smaller items.

Vacuum bag

Usually reserved for specialist carbon and/or Kevlar applications. After laminating the reinforcing fibres  and core with catalysed resin, the whole item is enveloped in a flexible vacuum bag. This compresses the laminate and removes excess resin, giving high strength-to-weight ratios.

Pre-preg

We use “pre-preg” materials and resin injection technology as needed.

Ready-made fibreglass components

We have ready access to a wide range of mass-produced fibreglass shapes (rods, bars, channels, square/round tubes, beams and gratings), plus large pipes and flat sheet.