Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Chippenham composites facility is a UK first

Carbon ThreeSixty's TFP machine will deliver the next generation of complex composite designs


A designer and manufacturer of wheels for the automotive industry has invested in machinery that will deliver products three times quicker while reducing waste by up to 90 percent.

Chippenham-based Carbon ThreeSixty specialises in the design and manufacture of composite wheels – which weigh half as much as their steel equivalent: something that is key in weight-critical performance vehicles and electric cars and vans, but also in the defence sector, which requires heavy-duty applications.

The new world-class automated Tailored Fibre Placement facility is currently the only commercially accessible machine of its type in the UK.

Ed Allnutt, managing director of Carbon ThreeSixty, said: "The TFP cell enables the production scale-up of our defence wheel products, whilst significantly contributing to ongoing R&D activity with clients in other sectors."

Carbon ThreeSixty invested in the TFP machine in autumn 2019, following a successful trial of the technology at the UK’s National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol. That trial directly contributed to Carbon ThreeSixty securing ongoing R&D and pilot production projects with global land defence manufacturers.

The company said the capability would lead to the creation of a number of highly-skilled engineering jobs at its 6,000 sq ft Bumpers farm facility.