Carbon Fibre/Kevlar Case
A light high tech, tough and rugged looking carry/operating case was required for some valuable equipment. This had to protect the equipment within during transit and use. Weight had to be tightly controlled to less than 7Kg for transportation.
The strict specification was achieved by carefully managing the design with 3D CAD mass property data for all parts including fasteners and working closely with a carbon and kevlar fibre processing supplier on material and tool design. A best lay-up of carbon fibre and kevlar fibre pre-preg and core material was found, prototyped and tested. Moulded-in features were created for a large D section black elastomer rubbing strip attached to the exterior as surface protection and a styling feature. To fit the rubbing strip, some careful and novel jigging was designed and used to guarantee a good fit with this awkward to handle material. Equipment internal fixing was via a 4U high 19 inch rack interface moulded in as custom Bighead fasteners. Other Bighead fasteners were used throughout for the handle, standing feet and end cover latch anchor points. Removable end caps with environmental seals were designed for equipment use and neat storage compartments for peripherals, cables and connectors. The case ended up weighing 5Kg with about 1Kg of fasteners and fittings.
3D CAD design, simulation and visualisation played a vital part in working with the customer during design reviews. The 3D data element enabled the product and aesthetics to be seen and developed in great detail before committing any capital expenditure.
The final design was a classic blend of aesthetics, engineering design and design for manufacture.
Basic case information:
Overall dimensions (excluding rub strips) 240mm x 706mm x 600mm. The centre section with end caps removed is 500mm long. Case design is for a 4U high (177.8mm(7 inch) or upto 180mm) 19 inch rack product with front and rear fixing. Rear fixing is via a separate bracket.