IBEX 365 News
Need Solutions? Ask the Experts at Composites One
Partnering with customers on the latest marine innovations
When customers have questions, they contact the experts at Composites One. Among these experts is Tom Hanna, Technical Sales Manager, Composites One, who has been serving marine customers in southeastern Florida for more than 20 years. “We start by listening,” said Hanna. “Because of our company’s size, we’re able to bring together a large group of people with diverse experience and backgrounds to think through the challenges that customers face and provide them with solutions,” he added.
This solutions-based approach has enabled Composites One to partner with customers on some of the newest marine innovations right from the start, often during the design engineering stage.
Among the trends and innovations in which Hanna has been involved are electrified propulsion systems. “People weren’t even talking about EV (electric vehicle) propulsion systems four or five years ago,” said Hanna. “But with changing climate policies and greater concern to protect our waterways, we’re seeing major players introducing sport and luxury e-boats for recreational use that incorporate EV technology.”
And this is where Composites One can help play a key role, especially with the company’s commitment to closed molding technologies and its line of Aerovac process materials designed specifically for vacuum infusion applications. “Manufacturers building components for these next generation marine propulsion systems are looking at composites, because they’re lighter in weight,” said Hanna. “The lighter the load, the less energy it takes to move,” he added.
According to Hanna, this means using vacuum infusion for building boat hulls and other marine components. To ensure that they’re using the right Aerovac process materials for the application, they’re also calling on Composites One, early in the product’s development phase.
Another trend that Hanna is seeing, especially with the next generation of boatbuilders, is greater interest in recycling and preventing waste from damaging the marine environment. “There’s been an interesting cultural shift among manufacturers who are realizing how important it is to take care of our waterways,” said Hanna. “It starts with people becoming aware of the problem and being concerned.”
Along with recycling, this generation of boatbuilders is also interested in using renewable materials and natural fibers like flax and hemp fibers. “One of the products that we offer – balsa wood – was first introduced 20-30 years ago, but it took a back seat to plastics,” said Hanna. “We’re now seeing greater interest in balsa wood, which grows quickly, going from seed to harvest in five to eight years. When infusing balsa wood, the composites structure is fully encapsulated, helping to ensure a void-free laminate.”
“This is an exciting time for the marine market, especially with all the changes and new innovations going on,” added Hanna. “Whether our customers are involved in electric propulsion systems, looking for renewable materials, or need to lightweight their products, they can depend on Composites One to provide them with dependable, innovative solutions that deliver results.”
To find out more about Tom Hanna and Composites One’s team of Technical Sales Managers, please visit our website, click here. For more information about closed molding, please click here.
NOTE: CNBC had a great video about the rise in electric boats. To watch the video, click below: