A Derby composites firm has won a national net zero award, thanks to its pioneering work to find a more sustainable composite manufacturing process. At an awards dinner in Birmingham on 2 November, Composite Braiding Ltd, based in the iHub at Infinity Park, scooped the ‘Sustainability Award | Net-Zero’ from Composites UK: the trade association for the UK composites industry.
The company impressed the judges by developing a lower carbon manufacturing process for structural composites, which also enables higher production volumes and lower costs. The initiative was part funded by an Innovate UK loan.
It’s the second Composites UK award in as many years for Composite Braiding, who last year won the ‘Innovation in Composite Materials’ category. Managing Director, Steve Barbour commented, “We’re thrilled to have won another prestigious Composites UK award this year for our work to decarbonise composite manufacturing processes. It just goes to show what small companies can do, when you have an innovative team and funding behind you.”
The new manufacturing process reduces energy consumption by up to 99%, compared to traditional processes, and uses tooling that’s 50% lighter. The process even reduces consumable waste.
On top of the decarbonisation benefits, the innovation means the firm can produce composite parts in minutes instead of hours, enabling them to increase volumes and reduce costs.
“This is a game-changing capability,” explains Steve. “If this process is adopted by multiple users, which is our aim, it will help deliver decarbonisation at scale. We are already talking to third parties about broadening the awareness and availability of our capabilities to multiple sectors.”