The agreement with Sunrez will also help to commercialise Australian Composites’ new flame resistant prepreg technology to manufacturers of mass transit parts that require flame resistant, low smoke, and low toxicity materials. (See: UV curing prepregs pass fire tests.)

Both companies have been working in the area of UV cure composite materials for many years.

“Sunrez is already the market leader in this field and has received multiple patents for their UV cure technology,” says Daniel Leipnik, CEO for Australian Composites, based in Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia. “They are ideally placed to create further growth of UV curable products and utilise machine capacity available in our plant that can produce up to ten tonne of prepreg per day using custom designed computerised equipment. We expect to see a tremendous response from the market as a result of this partnership.”

Mark Livesay, CEO and Founder of Sunrez, of El Cajon, California, USA, believes the opportunities for widespread adoption of UV curing prepregs have never been better.

“Most companies manufacturing composite parts in North America these days face great competition from emerging nations such as China, India, and Vietnam, where labour rates are considerably less,” he explains. “There is a heavy focus by American and Canadian firms to reduce the costs of labour, material, and energy. One of the easiest ways to do that is by utilising light curing composites materials which harden in minutes with sunlight or artificial light, enabling composite parts to be made rapidly with fewer people, less electricity, and without the quality concerns of staff having to formulate resins and catalysts and then wetting out the glass to form the part.”