CalSol uses carbon fiber composites for many components on our solar vehicles, but we work primarily with rolls of woven carbon fiber or carbon fiber prepregnated with epoxy. Last Thursday, we finally got a chance to see how raw strands of carbon fiber are woven into the fabrics we use for our vehicle.
We started the morning by touring Sigmatex High Technology Fabrics Inc., in Benicia, California. After checking at the front desk, we went on a guided tour of the weaving facilities. It was fascinating to see individual spools of carbon fiber woven, trimmed, and packaged into ready-to-ship boxes. The amount of attention to detail and precision in the cleanroom was inspiring, and we hope to improve on our own processes as we build Tachyon’s composites components.
Immediately afterwards, we embarked on a tour of Patz Materials and Technologies. Joseph Talosig gave us a wonderful tour of the Patz facilities and showed us their honeycomb core and prepreg lines. He was also happy to answer our questions about prepreg manufacturing and materials selection, and even donated several sample rolls of prepreg to us for making test panels and practice layups. Thank you to Patz Materials and Technologies and Joseph for your generosity and the great tour! We look forward to working together for the manufacture of Tachyon’s shell and monocoque.