Design covers and enclosures with Fiberglass and Composites

Fiberglass and composites are ideal material for making shaped shell structures. It is the dominant material in applications such as boat hulls, small aircraft, architectural domes, and camper shells. Composites are also an ideal material for making covers and enclosures for machinery and equipment. The covers can have any shape or contour the designer wishes. They are lightweight, corrosion resistant, have class A finish, and are cost effective.

The cover can also be large and complex so one single cover can replace numerous individual panels. Consolidating parts greatly reduces costs and simplifies assembly. Traditionally, covers and enclosure for machinery and equipment have been made out of sheet metal. It is a material many engineers and designers are familiar with, and sheet metal is a good choice for covers that are simple and box shaped. If the covers need to have contour, such as a chamfer or radius corners, or if the covers are large, fiberglass and composites are the materials of choice.

The cover of the machine conveys a very strong signal to the customer as to the quality and performance of the machine. A Corvette would not be a world-class sports car if it had a boxy sheet metal body.

Performance Composites has helped numerous companies design, develop and manufacture state of the art covers and enclosures. The stylish covers have helped our customers differentiate their products and have helped them increase their sales and market share. We can do the same for you. If you have any questions or specific applications, please contact us via e-mail or phone.

 

Advantages and disadvantages of fiberglass and sheet metal enclosures

 

 

 Fiberglass or Composite Material

 Sheet Metal

 Production quantities

* 10 to 1000+ per year.
* Tooling cost can be amortized even in low volume production.

* 1 to 1000+ per year.

 Size

* Can be made in any size (limited by shipping constraints).

* Larger parts are more cost effective.

* Difficult to make covers larger than 3’ x 5’ x 3’ due to weight and handling issues.

 Shape

* Can have any shape the designers desire. Able to make your part unique.

* Shape can also be used to stiffen the part (i.e. molded in ribs).

* Limited to simple box shapes.

* Complex shapes can be made but will be expensive.

 Cost

 

* For complex shapes or large covers, fiberglass will be the most economical.

* For simple small box shapes sheet metal will be cheaper.

* Economical for simple box shapes.

* Become expensive if the shape is complex or if the cover is large.

* If aluminum is used to save weight or stainless steel is used for corrosion resistant, the covers will cost more than fiberglass.

 Exterior finish

 

* Can be painted or gel coated Class A finish

* The finish can be either textured or glossy.

* Can be painted (textured or glossy) or powder coated.

* Difficult to achieve good smooth aesthetic appearance.

 Tooling

 

 

* Requires mold and fixtures to fabricate the part.

* Typical cost of tooling is 6 to 10 times the part price.

* Tools can be made within 4 weeks.

* Need some jigs and fixtures.

 Durability

 

* Will not dent or bend, but will crack when damaged.

* Cracks can be repaired.

* Will dent and bend when damaged.

 Corrosion Resistant

 

 

* Will not corrode.

* Can tolerate most chemicals, solvents, acids, and bases.

* Will corrode if the metal is exposed to moisture or chemicals.

 Fire resistance

 

 

* Fire retardant resins can be used if required. Certified for use on interior of buildings, buses, and aircrafts.

* Will not burn.

 EMI/ RFI shielding, and electro  static grounding

* Can add a conductive layer to provide EMI/RFI shielding and electro static grounding.

* The cover is conductive and will block EMI/RFI.

 Stiffness

 

 

* Covers can be made very stiff.

* If a large unsupported span is necessary honeycomb core can be used to increase stiffness.

* Very flexible.

* Need to add stiffeners of additional structure for large covers, which often warp and distort the surface.

 Tolerances

 

* + .010 on mold side and + .030 on non-tool mold for critical features.

* Overall size and shape + .060 on large covers.

* + .010 on critical features.  Overall size and shape + .060 on large covers.

 Weight

 

 

* Density of the material is .05 lb/ft^3.

* Typically fiberglass covers will weigh less than ½ of steel covers (typical wall thickness is 1/8” to ¼”).

* Lighter covers are often safer.

* Density of the material is .3 lb/ft^3.

* Larger covers get very heavy due to the additional reinforcement necessary.

 

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Why Performance Composites?

  • Quality
  • High Quality Composite Manufacturing ISO 9001: 2015 certified
  • Receive composite parts that will consistently meet your specifications every time. We use high-quality molds, well-designed manufacturing processes, optimal composites materials, effective ISO 9001:2015 quality processes, and well-trained employees to consistently achieve 100% quality ratings from our customers.
  • Rely on us to supply all of your critical fiberglass composites. We are honored to be designated as a strategic supplier by many of our large OEM customers, and we have many customer partners for over 10 years.
  • Cost-Effective
  • Cost Effective Solutions Using Fiberglass and Composite Materials
  • Receive low cost, high performance composites and fiberglass parts that are value engineered and are manufactured using the most cost-effective materials and processes.
  • Reduce your overall part cost and improve product performance when we help you convert your existing designs from sheet metal or plastics to composites.
  • Save time and money by utilizing our efficient workforce and low overhead to perform your custom assembly.
  • Reliable
  • Reliable On-Time Delivery of Your Composite Parts
  • Receive your composite products on time! Our production team is dedicated to on-time delivery, and we consistently achieve 100% on-time delivery ratings from our customers.
  • Receive the fastest response time from the composite industry. Our typical production through-put time is less than 2 weeks.
  • Have your fiberglass composites products delivered on a "Just-in-Time" basis to help you minimize your inventory.
  • Rely on us to work with your Kan Ban system to simplify your order fulfillment and ensure your composite parts are always available.
  • Service
  • Superior Customer Service from our team
  • Receive excellent customer service. Performance Composites is structured as a service company that specializes in composite fabrication. We are committed to serving our customers and developing long-term mutually beneficial partnerships. Many of our customers have been partners with us for over 10 years.
  • Receive support from our experienced team on every step of the process from design, engineering, process development, project management, prototype development, composite product manufacturing, quality control per ISO 9001:2008, custom assembly, packaging and shipping. We will help you optimize performance, quality and cost.
Wind Turbine Blade Repair & Services (sister company)

Company Information

Performance Composites is a full service composites manufacturer providing engineered fiberglass products to original equipment manufacturer (OEM). We offer engineering, analysis, design assistance, process development, tooling fabrication, composite fabrication, assembly, quality control and project management. Our goal is to provide high-quality fiberglass manufacturing, cost-effective solutions, superior service and on-time delivery.

Contact Information

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  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  +1 (310) 328-6661
  +1 (310) 782-3578
  1418 Alameda St Compton, CA 90221

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