Strategy. Planning. Execution.

Patterns / Plug

The pattern, also known as a plug is the first step in the composite manufacturing process, which entails making the part first.

The pattern can be made from virtually any material.

Next step is to make a mould off the pattern/plug.

Then the mould will be used to make the part which will now be made with composites.

Tooling / Moulds

Composite parts are made in moulds, also known as tools.

Tools can be made from robust, specially designed composite materials.

They are usually determined by the frequency of use of the tool and size.

Soft tools are usually for low production of parts and do not need to be made from as robust materials and can be cheaper to make.


Hard tools are for high production of parts to be made and require it to be made out of more robust material and can be very expensive to produce, but if it is for a high volume of parts may not be that expensive in the grand scheme of the production.

But the tool must be made from the correct materials to suit composite fabrication and production of the parts to be produced.

There are more aspects to be thought about like shrinkage of the tooling and thermal expansion etc.

When the project is presented to Swift Composites in the design phase, all this will be considered, and the most suitable tooling will be suggested for the project to meet the required needs of the project.

What is GRP?

GRP stands for glass-reinforced plastic. It is also known as FRP (fibreglass reinforced plastic) or composite plastic.

Glass-reinforced plastics are a type of composite material made up of glass fibres and polymer or resins.

The glass fibres add strength to the plastic and make it less brittle than traditional plastics.

Glass-reinforced plastics come in many different shapes and sizes for engineering applications.

It can be anything from an object’s exterior to its interior support structure.

Companies use GRP for construction, aviation, marine engineering, transportation, and many other industries where high tensile strength is needed with low weight and resistance to corrosion.

Learn more about custom composite mouldings.

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We make GRP moulds and mouldings in house and can make GRP products for you.

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