Calhoun says it could manufacture the parts better than the majority of its competition and at the same or better price because LeoVince’s manufacturing process differs by using technical carbon fiber, which is autoclaved on polished molds. “Most component companies are molding resin with a thin layer of carbon fiber or carbon fiber looking material on each side,” he says. “We use a pre-impregnated all-carbon fiber sheet and then autoclave it to a specific shape.”
The autoclave process is something the company learned to refine as it pushed forward. “A lot of companies utilize a shiny finish, which tends to be a preferred look to a flat carbon fiber piece,” says Calhoun. “We’ve done experimentation with molds and found that if we use a much tighter base material and polish the entire mold, it results in a physically appealing appearance.”
Though the company would like to push carbon fiber-enhanced parts into more mainstream models in the future, it is focusing on the off-road sector right now because of more immediate business opportunities. Even though Calhoun says the market is experiencing a downturn, he believes the $150 components are priced within the buyer’s range.
Pool Repair Adds Fiberglass Top Coat to Cement
Composites manufacturers are always looking for new ways to stick out from their competition. Peter Gibson, owner of GRC Fiberglass Coatings, has announced a new system he says will represent the next step forward in pool repair.
He has developed a process to use a fiberglass topcoat to resurface swimming pools. Gibson says that instead of using a gel coat material, he uses a specially-formulated top coat that is vinyl-ester based to prevent cobalting and blistering.