Composites Molder Norco GRP and mouldCAM produce an Olympic Challenger for RS Sailing

january 9 2012

Composites molder Norco GRP and CNC specialist mouldCAM Europe have produced temperature stable direct tooling and a prototype dinghy for UK sailboat manufacturer RS Sailing. The dinghy will be called the RS900 and will compete with other dinghy manufacturers to become the next double handed sailing dinghy in the women's class.

The tooling and prototype were produced in just over eight weeks from receiving the final CAD files from RS Sailing. The direct tooling from mouldCAM Europe was machined in the company's new composite tooling facility in Poole, Dorset, UK, using a 36 m 5-axis CNC machine. mouldCAM produced a total of 12 direct mould tools and patterns for the project which were hand finished to a high gloss finish.

Norco GRP assisted RS Sailing in developing the build process and specifying materials and, within a few days of taking delivery of each tool from mouldCAM, was producing moldings ready for assembly of the final boat.

Using a mixture of processes suited to each part - epoxy wet lay-up vacuum bag, infusion and prepreg - Norco manufactured all the elements of the boat apart from the spars and rigging. Norco also used the latest Scott Bader epoxy compatible 253PA gel-coat sprayed into the mould to minimize weight and offer an improved bond with the epoxy laminate.

Norco is building two more boats from the direct tools before the Olympic trials take place in mid-March 2012.

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