Local boat builders look set to benefit from an equipment upgrade at Aerontec Composite Technology, the Montague Gardens facility currently making inroads into the boatbuilding sector.

Aerontec has made a substantial investment in foam cutting technology, a move intended to support ever-expanding yards. The Company has commissioned multiple specialised flatbed cutting systems to add to its double-cut saw technology which it developed in-house. The investment entrenches the facility’s status as one of the most sophisticated composite foam cutting centres in the Southern Hemisphere, “and the only such plant in Africa”, Aerontec says.

“The foam sheets are supplied mainly to boat and yacht builders, where the foams are vacuum bagged or infused with resin for use in hull constructions as well as virtually all structural components and compartments on sailing vessels.”

“The obvious advantage here is that the resin-infused sheet – as a composite component – is considerably lighter than alternative material options, and also offers the advantage of low water absorption,” the Company says.

The PVC and PET foam sheets are imported from Europe and are cut into required thicknesses. The saws achieve exceptional accuracy down to 100 micron (one tenth of a millimetre) tolerances.

Aerontec says the equipment allows for quicker project turnaround times – a  major advantage for yards with tight production deadlines: “Previously SA boat builders were having sheet cut overseas, with extended delivery times, often of months duration. This had the effect of delaying the entire boat building operation. Aerontec’s service has thus enabled a major transition in the sector. It is also able to service crisis orders that previously would have been impossible,” the Company says.

For more information contact Graham Blythe on <graham@aerontec.co.za>

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