Cost effective solutions – Composite Manufacturing Ltd (CML) were tasked to create 4 off GRP chimneys measuring 5mtrs x 1.5mtrs for Southampton Universities new Chemistry Department. The chimneys needed to be both fire retardant and chemical resistant which was achieved through using specialist resins and gelcoats. Cost was also crucial as the client did not want to commit to permanent tooling as the project was a “one off”.
CML has been developing how it makes direct tooling from their CNC machine. Using PTFE release films and spray applied surface coatings a flat, relatively smooth finish can be achieved. Surface finish was not of huge concern as the chimneys would sit five storeys up on top of the chemistry department roof. However with some light prep work and spray painting a high gloss finish is not hard to achieve.
Normally this type of temporary tool is only able to achieve a few pulls before movement and stress render it uneconomical to repair but with special consideration regarding structure CML were able to create a robust temporary tool. With the development of a better structure CML were able to achieve 8 main chimneys and 8 closing panels from the tooling.
The chimneys were fully assembled in CML’s facility in Southampton, trucked and then craned into position. All that was required to finish the project was for a CML engineers to secure the chimneys to the roof with mechanical fittings and fit the closing panels.
CML designed, CNC cut and fabricated the chimneys fully in house.