ANAHEIM, CALIF. — The ease with which composite golf clubs can be made became evident at an unusual hands-on demonstration during the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering exposition in Anaheim.
Individuals paid a $35 fee and made their own handcrafted putters, said Bill Allen, principal of Production Composite Materials Inc. of Bermuda Dunes, Calif.
Other SAMPE volunteers provided guidance and instruction through each step of the process at the 600-square-foot exhibit booth, according to coordinator Michael Kramer, program manager of Tolo Inc. in Irvine, Calif.
The demonstration sought to eliminate the image of composite materials as ``black art,'' said Robert Basso, president of equipment maker and turnkey factory supplier Century Design Inc. of San Diego.
``We want to show it is elementary'' for people to operate the equipment, he said.
Century Design set up production equipment worth about $60,000, and Lynco Grinding Co. Inc. of Bell Gardens, Calif., supplied tapered mandrels. Basso said the setup could make 1,000 shafts in a work shift with an ``almost instantaneous pay-back on equipment.''
Wayne Hogarth, Lynco president, said, ``Aerospace people know about filament winding, but they don't know about the table rolling method that has been around for years.''
Hogarth instructs on the method at Cerritos College's Composites Technology Center in Norwalk, Calif.
About 350 participants tacked carbon fiber preimpregnated with 35 percent epoxy resin onto a mandrel, activated a rolling table to apply heat and pressure and debulked the piece with a shrink film wrapper. Batches were oven-cured for an hour at 275§ F, mandrels were extracted on a pneumatic machine and participants removed the shrink film wrapper. Trimming, bonding the head and adding a grip yielded a finished putter.
The material was donated by Bryte Technologies Inc. of San Jose, Calif., Advanced Composites Group Inc. of Tulsa, Okla., and Newport Adhesives & Composites Inc. of Irvine, Calif. Cutting Edge Inc. of Marblehead, Mass., and Eastman Worldwide of Buffalo, N.Y., cut the prepreg patterns on machines in their SAMPE exhibits.
Lord Corp. of Cary, N.C.; E.V. Roberts & Associates Inc. of Culver City, Calif.; Loctite Corp. of Rocky Hill, Conn.; and Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp. of Brewster, N.Y., provided fast-curing adhesives.