Laminating & impregnating
  Core manufacturing
  Resin & Panel testing

During the past twenty-five years I have designed and built a wide variety of composites process equipment  and test devices for a variety of applications, including boatbuilding, snowboard manufacturing, PVC foam testing and processing, and film and textile coating, laminating, and converting.

Although I am no longer actively manufacturing process equipment I provide consulting services on process equipment design and equipment/process integration. Due to my ongoing work in the field I also can often source used process and test equipment for my clients.

Please contact me to discuss your specific process development or equipment requirements.

This 30" wide stainless steel nip-roll- drive impregnating machine has produced laminates for over 10,000 composite snowboards . The rolls and machine frame are 304 stainless steel. Air operated, this model runs at speed from 2 to 25 Feet Per Minute, and features the exclusive APT " Safety Stop-Nip Opening" system.

This unit is equipped with the special APT arborless rewinder system for impregnated material output, dual unwind stations, a tension controlled interleave film unwind station, and UHMW polyethylene cutting surfaces. The control box is connected to the unit by a 6' long flexible umbilical conduit.

This machine, converted from a surplus heated linoleum embossing line, ( bought at $0.10/pound) applies scrim - the white roll at top- with heat activated adhesive to contour-cut PVC foam structural core material for boatbuilding applications.

The green roll is Teflon PTFE coated, and silicone oil heated to 250 - 350 degrees F. Lower drive roll is high- durometer urethane coated and centerless ground.

A variable speed electric / mechanical drive runs from 4-35 Feet Per Minute. The roll nip has high accuracy dial indicator readouts, with pneumatically operated nip opening and standard APT safety features.

The APT Portable Resin Lab contains all the equipment necessary for resin and filled putty gel/ cure/exotherm/hardness development cycle qualification out in the field or shop environment. The O ring sealed splash-proof PELICAN suitcase contains:
    • Geltimer & supplies
    • Exotherm chart recorder
    • Barcol durometer
    • Shore 'D' durometer
    • Electronic gram scale
    • Thermocouple thermometer
    • Mil gauges

This 60" nip width Advanced Process Technology impregnator featured a 304 stainless steel frame  and control box, and low runout, ( less than 0.0005") 10" diameter chrome plated mild steel rolls. The unit's support frame was nominal 2" Schedule 80 aluminum tubing, and could be easily reconfigured for gantry, table, or floor mount applications. UHMW polyethylene cutting surfaces eased material handling  and cutting.

Spring loaded nip-bath dams were machined from UHMW polyethylene. No tools were required for dam disassembly for cleaning.

This model had a 2.5 HP air-gearmotor drive for the nip rolls, and a 0.75 HP direct air motor drive for the APT arborless rewinder head. Rewind cores were inexpensive, nominal 3" Sch. 20 PVC plumbing pipe. Up to 4 unwind stations, for reinforcement or process material rolls, could be fitted to the overhead tubular framework. Separate air filters, regulators, lubricators and OSHA required 'lockout-tagout' valves were fitted to both the nip drive and the rewinder drive air supply circuits. Air consumption was approximately 20 CFM @ 100 PSI at full speed.

For a detailed reviw of this fabric impregnating machine in operation, read or download this link to my 2006 Professional Boatbuilder article on Boston Boatworks and their vacuum bagged wetpreg construction techniques.
PDF file courtesty of Professional Boatbuilder.

This 12Volt DC hot wire cutter was manufactured on a custom made aluminum casting, and featured a high tension spring loaded system for the hot nichrome wire.This device was used to cut hundreds of wedge shaped core increments for high strength composite parabolic antennas.
The hot wire was drawn along aluminum patterns developed on an early CAD-CUT sail panel cutting machine, producing accurately sized cores.

This punch-press device was used to perforate crosslinked PVC foam core material with bleeder holes for vacuum bagged processing. Air operated, each press cycle drove 120 1/8" diameter Teflon coated spring steel pins through the core material. Shown here under construction, this device was equipped with 8' infeed and outfeed tables, alignment fences and extensive safety interlocks.

This portable drop missile impact tester was purpose built for easy transportation to US and international trade shows . A 12Kg bronze drop missile was the impact mass. The tube was Schedule 80 PVC with a custom made central coupling. Multi-piece support legs and attachment collars were 6061 T6 aluminum, as was the water ballasted test article support. Drop missile height and release were controlled by a sailboat line-stopper.
No tools were required for assembly or to dismantle.