‘We see a growing demand for lightweight systems,’ says Bas Nijpels, Sales Engineer at Refitech. ‘As a result more and more mechanical engineers are starting to use our carbon fibre tubes and profiles. This in turn has led to increased requests for larger sized tubes, in addition to our highly successful 20, 25 and 30 mm RefiFLEX tubes. Like its smaller RefiFLEX stable mates, the new 40x40 mm HP is smooth inside and out, ensuring the connectors can be glued on to fit perfectly. By combining the different RefiFLEX® elements, lightweight frames for all kinds of applications can be constructed with ease.’
18 different shapes and sizes
Bas Nijpels continues: ‘The RefiFLEX tubes and connectors range now includes 18 different shapes and sizes. And although our customers are construction ever more interesting applications, their challenge is always the same; high performance at a reduced weight, compared with an existing aluminium frame or system. Some recent examples include large LED screen frames where our tubes were chosen for their high strength and low weight, measuring systems that benefit of the very low expansion coefficient and high rigidity, as well as gripper solutions that use carbon fibre for its low weight while eliminating the risk of metal fatigue. A carbon solution has a much longer life span than the aluminium alternative, and this advantage quickly pays for itself.’
Carbon fibre UD pultrusion profiles
As a result of its cooperation agreement with CarboSix from Italy, Refitech has now added that company’s construction system to its portfolio. Unlike the multi-layered prepreg RefiFLEX system, the Carbosix profiles consists of unidirectional (UD) carbon fibre pultrusion profiles, making them ideal for solutions that require high bending stiffness at low weight. The three sizes available are 90x90 mm, 90x45 mm and 45x45 mm, and have an integrated mounting slot. Thanks to the integrated slots these profiles can be screwed together to form frames, using a variety of fixing materials.
Calibration frames or assembly jigs
‘These profiles are used to make calibration frames or assembly jigs in the automotive, mechanical engineering and aerospace industries,’ adds Bas Nijpels. ‘These carbon fibre frames and jigs are both lighter and stiffer than their metal counterparts. Compared to aluminium frames, this system can save up to 70% in weight at a comparable strength and stiffness. End-user advantages are not only high dimensional stability and a very low ergonomic load, as the system relies on nut and bolt connections, the CarboSix system allows the users more flexibility for adjustment or the rearrangement of components if required in the production process.’