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Lameco uses prepreg glass or carbon fabrics to manufacture peelable laminated plates. From these, it produces shims of various sizes to customer specifications. These peelable laminated shims are used in mechanical systems to compensate for additional tolerances.
By peeling the shims to reduce the thickness, it is possible to make precise adjustments to fill in gaps created by these tolerances. Replacing stainless steel with this new material could enable aircraft manufacturers to make significant weight savings.
The starting idea was to reduce the weight of machinery, e.g. in aeronautics, by using composites instead of stainless steel. The main difficulty was to preserve the stiffness properties of the prepreg material while making it peelable. Lameco studied a special resin and a special thermal treatment. Aircraft manufacturers provided a testing protocol that included half a year thermal test at 300°C under 25 daNm of pressure, after which the integrity of the material had to be intact.
The patented composite material, called X Fiber®, comes in the form of a great number of sheets of woven fibres, either glass, carbon, aramid, or ceramic, or a blend of these. The sheets are consolidated by a thermoset resin that confers very high technical properties and peelability to the final composite.
A multitude of advantages
X.Fiber® is very lightweight, making it a suitable solution for lowering the weight of materials. This is something to consider for fuel consumption and/or payload issues. It can be used to replace carbon steel or stainless steel. Its mechanical properties are comparable to those of peelable metals.
X.Fiber® can be exposed to temperatures up to 300°C without Lameco X.Fiber® peelable shim damage, and is compliant with a large number of fire-performance, smokedensity, toxicity and heat-updraft standards. It is also easy to use: the shims can be peeled by hand, without requiring any tools. Once peeled, the shims remain smooth and flat, with no deformation, so they can be reused.
Lameco is wholly owned by the Gastel family, through a holding company called Inteline. Lameco has branches in the USA and Germany, and soon will have one in South East Asia.
Lameco estimates that composites are likely to replace metals in machinery very soon, to the extent of 50%. Lameco’s position in this niche market is considerably reinforced by its patented shims.
The company’s production capabilities include the manufacture of bespoke products based on glass, carbon, aramid or ceramic fibres.