Matthew's blog

Do fibreglass and carbon fibre mix?

"Let's put carbon fibre in there," says the marketing director. "That stuff's stronger. And I can sell it as a high-end feature."

"Yup, yup," replies the shop foreman. "We can do that. It's a bit pricey though, maybe we could use just a bit of it mixed with the fibreglass."

Fast forward three years, and both men are scratching their heads over why the component- which was, according to the designer, more than strong enough in fibreglass alone- has failed catastrophically even though they added a "better" material.

TL;DR: Mixing different fibres in the same load path can lead to a component being weaker than it would be if only one type of fibre had been used.

Composite chainplates: The ideal solution for composite hulls

Sometimes, old ways of doing things survive simply because "that's how it's always been".

From time to time, though, it is useful to look at the old ways to see if, in the context of modern knowledge, they still make sense. If they don't, perhaps they should be changed. In today's article, I'd like to take a look at a key component of many sailing yachts- the chainplate. Current chainplate designs date back to before the Industrial Revolution, and I think they're overdue for a redesign.

I can fix your computer, but you should know that....

People seem to think that I'm that guy who "knows computers". They're probably right, considering the unholy amount of time I spend building, fixing, programming, cursing at and occasionally using such devices. Maybe you, too, are "that guy", in which case the rest of this article will be face-palmingly familiar.

Or maybe you're looking for such a character, a Wizard of the Order of X86-64 who can help you with "a few little problems" your favourite laptop has developed. The answer is yes, we can (probably) put your hopelessly borked, slower-than-a-tortoise-on-Nyquil, late Paleolithic era Windows machine into a somewhat more usable state. But there are caveats, and you should know that:


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