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Graphite, carbon fiber, Kevlar, prepregs -- these are advanced composites in wide use by today’s manufacturers. The processes and skills needed to produce composite parts and components are unique; training in this high-skills sector is vital and opens up many opportunities to employees and apprentices in the industry.
This book provides an insider’s viewpoint on the tips and techniques used by the pros to fabricate advanced composite parts. The culmination of more than 30 years of industry experience, it imparts valuable insight on safety, shop and equipment needs, engineering, materials, lay-up, fabrication and quality control. The author captures lessons, games, safety, tests and projects in place, explaining them in the most pertinent context possible. Students and instructors will benefit from his coverage of lean manufacturing, STEM, and advanced composites, all in one book.
Composite manufacturing skills are marketable and in high demand, especially in the aerospace, automotive, sports, medical, marine, and construction industries. After reading this book, not only will students understand the basic skills required by today’s composite industry, they will also have foundational knowledge to pursue higher education goals in material science, composite engineering, composite research and development.
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Having worked in almost every aspect of the industry for over 30 years, Kevin Fochtman is an experienced professional with a vast knowledge of advanced composites. Starting at age 16, he worked for Hydro Swirl, a small company manufacturing custom jetted hot tubs in Bellingham, Washington. During this time commercial composites was in its infancy. Kevin learned to use industrial fiberglass products, manufacturing molds, how to operate chop guns, and vacuum form acrylic sheets. Industrial Fiberglass was where he learned to weave dry strands of fiberglass through a large cubed Teflon tool while impregnating the grating with a polyester resin system.
Kevin then spent more than 15 years at the world’s largest aerospace manufacturer, The Boeing Company, where he was exposed to the world of Advanced Composite Materials and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, learning all phases of production and eventually performed complex repairs to the final assemblies. Occasionally, he traveled to Edwards Air Force Base to perform on-aircraft repairs and modifications.
Kevin’s current endeavors include ownership of Pacific Coast Composites, a distribution company specializing in small and large quantities of advanced composites. In addition, he advises the education market about composites use and composite shop set-up.
Even more than composites, Kevin has a great interest in helping people. His passion and enthusiasm for the composite industry have brought him many professional rewards and commendations. Most recently he was awarded advisor of the year by a local school district in appreciation of his time and dedication to the students and their composite program.
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