Carbon fibre used to be the domain of Formula One cars and stealth bombers, now you will find it in a wide range of applications from iPhone cases and shoe soles to the skin of the A380 super jumbo or the hull of a racing yacht (or even Andy Murray’s tennis racket). Wherever there is a need for a very strong but lightweight structure, then carbon fibre composites have an application. The global industry is worth tens of billions of pounds a year and is set to grow rapidly as the car and aircraft industries’ demands expand.
At Prodrive you will be part of the production of carbon composite components using composite laminating and trimming techniques.
To make a carbon panel, the initial process begins with the carbon fibre, a high strength textile that is woven together. It is injected with resin crystals and then put into a mould, bagged and cured in an autoclave for over four hours at around 125 degrees. Eventually you end up with a solid panel which can be trimmed to any pattern and then bonded with a structural adhesive.
It may sound complicated and it is a skilled job, but anyone with the right attitude and a willingness to learn can do it.