Marstrom Composite AB: Marine Passion and lightweight design applied to your Mission.

In 1983, with a bronze from the 1980 olympics in his pocket, Göran Marstrom decided that he was not satisfied with the current crop of Tornado Catamarans he and his fellow sailors where campaigning. Inspired by the production processes for the Swedish JA 37 fighter jet Göran installed an autoclave setting about to build the best boats on the market. It payed off, from the 1988 olympics until 2008 – when the boat was phased out – Göran Marstrom and his partner Per Wärn had a virtual monopoly building the boats – and later carbon fibre spars as the class upgraded the boat.

The secret was not only to have the fastest boat on the circuit. Outstanding quality in the build meant that the boats saw no signs of structural fatigue even after 10 hard years of professional sailing. Irrespective of the area of use the same basic fact can be established: that high quality composite correctly designed and build will not fatigue. It is not only light weight, it is strong, stiff and durable. Low Life cycle cost is something which applies to all of our production.

In 1992 the production of boats saw the addition of carbon fibre spars, Marstrom being one of the early pioneers of autoclaved spars. Spars, rudders and centerboards for classes such as the European dinghy contributed to building the brand. In 2004 Marstrom was commissioned to build the Volvo Extreeme 40 catamaran which was used for the inshore races for the 2005 race. Testsailing and racing the boats it became clear just how energy intensive the use of tender boats was making marstrom take the step into rib production. Through an intelligent application of autoclaved carbon hulls fuel consumption was cut in half combined with improvements in seaworthiness. The design philosophy of this tend is the basis for the long standing collaboration with Dutch Xtender.

With the heart and passion derived from its marine side the company diversified into industrial production. The likelihood is large that you have flown a great number of miles in a Boeing or an Airbus with a cargo system manufactured in Västervik under your feet.

We can successfully design, develop and manufacture any detail suitable for composite production: tables used for medical protone treatments, high end loudspeaker cabinettes, guntowers and windblade being examples. We are ISO 9001 certified closely cooperating with customers such as BAE systems, SAAB Aircraft and SAAB Kockums maintaining the focus on craftsmanship tradition while manufacturing to drawing in a traceable manner.

Marstrom Composite AB: Marine Passion and lightweight design applied to your Mission.

Prepregg

Composite products can be built in many different ways. By far the best is combining pre-preg material with curing under heat and pressure in an Autoclave, a method introduced by the aerospace industry and applied by Marstrom since 1983. Pre-preg is short for Pre impregnated: the fibre being impregnated with the epoxi base and hardener in exact proportions from the manufacturer with the resin formulated to start the hardening process only as heat is applied.

The Autoclave

An autoclave is a high pressure chamber. The technology has many applications, curing diver disease is one and cleaning medical equipment is another. Used for curing composites pressure is combined with heat. Compared to other ways of laminating composites there are major differences in quality where repeatability is perhaps the most important aspect: a good craftsman will achieve near perfect laminates with a very small percentage of failed parts.

With lesser methods imperfections are at best discovered with costs and delays as a result. In the worst case the deficiency remains in the structure causing long term fatigue of the part with an eventual failure.

Wet laminating or infusing composites vacuum is used to improve quality, but even at near perfect vacuum you can only get to 1 atmosphere /1 bar pressure. In an autoclave the pressure will routinely be 5 bars (unless it is a sandwich product you should expect this from your supplier – ask!) in our case with 8 bars possible for specific application.

The pressure will not only evacuate air, remaining air inclusions will generally dissolve into the epoxy matrix.

Even 35 years after Marstrom introduced the technology into hull building there is no better method to give you a solid and problem free product. We have 3 autoclaves, max length being 35 meters and maximum diameter being 2.2 meters with a capacity to stretch autoclave technology to fairly sizeable parts such as the pedestrian bridge you can find in the Industry / Automotive projects section.

Marstrom One Shot Process

Composite parts will often be built in several pieces joined together. A left and right half of a keel blade or a rudder, a front and back shell of a spar or hull and deck. Most products at Marstrom is built with the Marstrom One Shot Process building fairly complex parts, such as a multi-spoke wheel, as a one piece item.

This removes risks inherent in the joining process as well as improving performance. A typical keel blade or a rudder will “sing” at high speeds (surfing the frontface of a wave for example) due to imperfections at the leading edge with sound and vibrations being signs of turbulence and dissipated energy. In short: loss of speed while the equivalent Marstrom product will be smooth and silent even at top speed.

Translated into industrial applications such as a robot arm this can be translated into a product which can see higher loads before risk of failure.