From a supersonic car aiming to break the world land speed record to a solar powered race vehicle, one Sleaford manufacturer is delivering world-class carbon fibre solutions across the globe.
Leading-edge advanced composite technology is powering impressive growth for family firm SHD Composite Materials Ltd – now supplying pre-impregnated composite fibers for everything from surf boards and body armour to aircraft and boats.
Not to mention supplying material for the Bloodhound SSC project, a supersonic car attempting to break the world land speed record by reaching 1000 mph, as well as the Punch Solar Team car, which took fifth place in the 2015 Solar Challenge race across some of the planet’s most demanding terrain.
“It all began when husband and wife team Steve and Helen Doughty, who after returning to their home county in 2003, set-up their own company in 2010.”
Utilising Steve’s 25 years of experience working in the prepreg industry - carbon fibre or fabric pre-impregnated with resin - SHD Composite Materials Ltd has gone from strength-to-strength.
Since then sales have rocketed from a single order in 2010 to an annual turnover today of around £8m. As well as sales across the UK, the company’s export markets include Europe and Australia among many others.
Designing and manufacturing standard and bespoke prepregs for the automotive, leisure, marine and aviation industries, the company’s ethos has always been to work with customers to provide a highly personalised service.
Investment in research and development, as well as equipment, has seen the company’s base grow from a 1,000sq ft unit in 2010 to a complex spanning 20,000sq ft, with all of its research, manufacturing and assembly happening in Sleaford.
Starting with around six employees, it now employs 44 people and continues to recruit – with a high emphasis placed on inspiring and training young engineers.