Future Fibres have announced the opening of their new Innovation centre in the UK,with the objective of carrying out advanced composite research and development across all Future Fibres technologies.
The Innovation Centre will house the latest in testing and development equipment, including design software such as CATIA, accurate high-load test beds capable of fatigue and dynamic force analysis and non-destructive testing capabilities. In addition, equipment will be tailored to specific projects being worked on.
The team at the centre is made up of composite engineers, chemists, composite technicians and specialist rigging engineers. This highly skilled team has significant marine experience and, in collaboration with other leading experts, is giving constant focus to the theory of composite technology. Working with Hanyang University in South Korea, the Innovation Centre is currently studying the complete rig package from an FEA modelling perspective.
An R&D department that is free from the day-to-day demands of production ensures a focus solely on the discovery and creation of new composite solutions. Although primarily in mast and rigging, there are many other non-marine sectors where we are exploiting the use of composites. Our dedicated facility enables us to be innovative across all these markets.
Humphrey Bunyan Innovation Centre director
Scientific theories are then validated on the water through extensive practical testing. One example of Future Fibres product development is the recently announced technical partnership with Andrea Mura’s Open 50, Vento di Sardegna. The arrangement will see Future Fibres providing Mura with a complete set of flexible continuous carbon rigging. In return Mura, who will be taking part in both the Ostar 2013 and Route du Rhum 2014, will provide comprehensive load monitoring data from the mast and rigging. This information will then be compared with in-house test data to enable predicted performance to be compared against on-the-water statistics.