Industrial Automation and Robotics
Industrial automation and robotics is a field starting to realize the benefits of carbon fiber designs. For many applications, the ability to reduce weight and increase structural stiffness reflects directly in faster response time and reduced motor and actuator loads. This in turn results in improved productivity and longer maintenance cycles. In the business of automation, where machines often run as fast as possible 24/7, reduced inertial loads due to the replacement of heavy metal components with optimized carbon fiber structures can in turn reduce part fabrication time, dramatically increasing profitability. In such applications, the return on investment due to increased material costs associated with carbon fiber is often very short.
DragonPlate large diameter tubes, gussets, and carbon fiber sheets can easily be assembled into frameworks for a wide variety of robotic applications. For uses where loads and deflections are of major concern, DragonPlate can also customize the carbon fiber layup or dimensions to meet the customer specifications.
One recent example of DragonPlate carbon fiber materials is from the world of commercial robots. International Climbing Machines built a revolutionary wall-climbing robot, the chassis of which was almost entirely made from DragonPlate carbon fiber. This robot is used in the nuclear industry, airplane inspection, and many other applications where the environment is either extremely harsh to humans, or the ability to climb sideways and upside down would result in drastically reduced labor time (as in the case of inspecting an airplane fuselage or wing). By replacing the original metal structure with one made from DragonPlate, ICM was able to greatly increase the robots performance and payload carrying ability. More about Industrial Automation and Robotics...
UAVs and Drones
From the hobbyist to the professional, Dragonplate has the building materials you will need to create virtually any drone. Our off-the-shelf line of carbon fiber flat sheets, braided and roll-wrapped tubes, angles, and a wide array of pultruded materials provide all of the basics. Our patented connector system for pultruded tubes, as well as our modular connectors for braided and roll-wrapped tubes provide an ideal method for making frames, especially for multi-rotor helicopters. For assembly, an array of structural epoxies and fasteners are also available.
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Carbon Fiber for Marine and Aircraft Interiors
Dragonplate offers a wide variety of off-the-shelf products and custom fabrication services to support the luxury yacht and aircraft interiors industry. Whether for an individual, corporation, or government client, carbon fiber composites can benefit your designs in two ways: weight reduction and high-tech distinctiveness. This is particularly true when designing the interior for aircraft, since every pound saved means improved efficiency and additional payload elsewhere in the vehicle. Weight and balance are also important for large yachts, where weight saved above the water line can help as well.
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Aerospace Tooling and Manufacturing Fixtures
The challenge with large tools, particularly aircraft production tools, is that they can be very large, and thus heavy and difficult to move. Dragonplate regularly helps customers reduce tool weights by 50% or more. Using FEA calculations, weight reductions up to 75% are possible in some cases when compared with older aluminum and steel tools and fixtures.
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Carbon Fiber Electronics Enclosures
There are several benefits of lightweight carbon fiber electronics enclosures. The primary reason our customers look to carbon fiber for these applications is to reduce weight. In addition to reduced weight and increased natural frequency, carbon fiber electronics enclosures maintain dimensional tolerances over a much wider temperature range than plastic or metal enclosures. The thermal expansion coefficient (CTE) of carbon fiber is approximately the same as Invar, thus greatly reducing thermal issues for sensitive electronics, laser, mirrors, and sensors.
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Composite Radar Structures
Dragonplate has been building radar structures for military applications for over a decade. The advantage of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Kevlar in such a unit is obvious when one considers the challenges moving equipment to remote locations. Lightweight carbon fiber composites can mean the difference between something that is carried and a system that must be moved by vehicle. And even vehicle and aircraft mounted radar systems benefit greatly from reduced weight.
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X-Ray and Gamma Ray Applications
Carbon fiber has rapidly become one of the primary materials utilized in x-ray and gamma ray applications. In particular, carbon fiber provides a radiolucent material with sufficient strength and stiffness to maintain critical dimensions under load, and will not break down over time, even after high doses of x-ray and gamma ray radiation.
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Metrology and Scientific Equipment
Carbon fiber is rapidly becoming one of the choice materials in the field of metrology due to its high stability and low thermal expansion. In applications where thermal changes will move comparable metal measurement and alignment tools out of tolerance due to expansion or contraction of the material, carbon fiber will remain virtually unchanged over a wide temperature range.
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Carbon fiber strips serve many applications in the making of musical instruments, where its material properties of low mass and high stiffness make it an ideal choice.
Carbon fiber strips or our patent-pending D-Tube may be used in various configurations for neck reinforcement in wood necks. Short strips can be used to strengthen the head stock
joint. Carbon fiber strips may be used in guitar bracing, where it can be used in combination with balsa or spruce as a stiffening laminate. Strips may be used in
lattice support bracing of the top plate to allow greater thinning for increased response. Some makers have found other creative applications in using carbon fiber
strips as longitudinal internal supports for reducing stress on top sounding plates. Due to its high strength in compression/tension and low mass, and its excellent
bonding with epoxy and cyanoacrylate adhesives, carbon fiber is the doorway for new generation instrument making.
One of the most common uses of carbon fiber in the making and repairing of stringed instruments is neck reinforcement. To the right is an example of how carbon fiber
can be used to give the neck more stability and reduce twisting. This neck cross section shows one possible way to install carbon fiber. Orientation of carbon
fiber strips is determined by the cross-sectional dimensions of your neck.
Carbon Fiber FurnitureCarbon fiber is increasingly being used in the construction of furniture. Furniture makers use carbon fiber because of its
light weight, durability and appearance. Carbon fiber can give a piece of furniture a "high-tech" or "high-end" look while reducing its overall weight.
Cerious Technologies, developer of high-tech materials, fabrication techniques and concepts, aims to bring innovation into the home
environment by targeting mature markets where traditional design and thinking dominate the market landscape. For the Carbon Earth table shown here, Cerious chose a core of Baltic birch plywood and skins of DragonPlate carbon
fiber with a proprietary ceramic adhesive developed for ballistic armor. The legs were created in similar way, from DragonPlate carbon fiber tubing. The table is 62 percent wood by weight;
exactly 50 percent wood, 50 percent carbon fiber by volume. The Carbon Earth Table weighs less than 15 lbs.