Our sectors for composite innovation

Four SMEs join NCC's SME Affiliate Scheme

24 September 2021

The National Composites Centre is delighted to welcome four new SMEs to its SME Affiliate Membership scheme.

The scheme offers UK SMEs affordable enhanced benefits, including access to the NCC’s ‘beyond’ state-of the-art technology, specialist training and networking opportunities.

The Retrac Group is a world-class supplier to the largest global manufacturers in Formula 1, Motorsport, Automotive, Aerospace, Defence, Medical and R&D / Innovation. Retrac provides its blue-chip client base with Award-winning engineering solutions in advanced materials, tooling and component manufacture. Across its two divisions, Retrac Productions and Retrac Composites, the Swindon-based Group offers the complete engineering partnership and forms an extension of their clients’ manufacturing capabilities. With a 50-year history of innovation and manufacturing excellence, Retrac Group has been a key supplier to every Formula 1 World Champion for the past decade.

Lineat Composites brings a disruptive fibre composite technology to the market by introducing a novel aligned fibre material format that addresses some of the key challenges in the composites manufacturing industry. Lineat Composites is commercialising the patented High Performance Discontinuous Fibre (HiPerDiF) technology developed at the University of Bristol that can manufacture highly aligned discontinuous fibre tapes. It is estimated that over 80% of carbon fibre produced ends up in landfill, currently only low value recycling routes are available. These quasi unidirectional (UD) tapes exhibit mechanical performance comparable to continuous fibre tapes, with the added value of an improved formability to simplify existing manual and automated processes. Lineat will continue to develop the technology here at the NCC with the first commercial plant (HPD4) and then work towards standardised production lines that will allow further expansion. Lineat will enable to demonstrate circularisation in the high-tech UK composites industry and strengthen the UK competitive position by providing a global solution to sustainable composite materials.

Technical Composite Systems (TCS) is a dynamic, proactive SME with AS9100 approval for the design and manufacture of composites, tooling, and injection moulding.

A relatively young company, but with extensive knowledge and experience in composite materials, components and assemblies, TCS has enjoyed particularly strong growth throughout the past 18 months and Q4 2021 sees a relocation into brand new facilities in Devon, expanding their manufacturing capability.

Their success relies on their staff, and their collaborative approach to solving engineering challenges. TCS have invested heavily in both equipment and facilities for serial manufacturing, and their commitment to innovative R&D programmes underpins their long-term business plan.

Neos International is a multi-disciplinary engineering group based in the UK, Portugal and India, delivering innovative engineering solutions across multiple market sectors. The group is made up of more than ten separate businesses, working across a diverse range of industries; from serial automotive to aerospace and from infrastructure to space exploration. Within the group, >Neos Composites focuses upon design and manufacture of composite parts, assemblies and tooling, and is complimented in larger or more complex projects from other businesses in group, such as Neos Automation, Neos Automotive and Neos Technologies.

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