Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Interview of Jean-Marie Buignet of specialist composites company C3 technologies by Dominic Bourgeois of Voiles et Voiliers

From the following interview of Jean-Marie Buignet by Dominic Bourgeois on the excellent Voiles et Voiliers:

the rough bing translate is below:

Discreetly and for fifteen years, the worksite C3 Technologies of La Rochelle, ex-dependance of CRAIN, realizes technical composite parts for the sailing race, in France and in Europe.
Derivatives, rudders, foils and other elements supporting huge constraints are part of the catalog of this site like no other, which also offers bracing, partitions, as well as wings and the skeletons of aircraft... Explanations of Jean-Marie Buignet, host of this company in full expansion. Jean-Marie, the worksite C3 Technologies built no boat, but very specific...
Jean-Marie Buignet:
Yes, we are essentially technical parts. Our core business, these are the elements for Racing Sailboats, multihulls or monohulls. And we are specialized in the construction of appendages and parts that support a great deal of effort: sails of keel, rudder, derivatives... That said, on the monohull Macif, we realized all partitions of the boat. And we must do the same thing for the next IMOCA under construction (Bank Populaire 8, saffron...), as well as for the new trimaran Macif by François Gabart, as a subcontractor of CDK Technologies.
v & have long been that you collaborate with other sites?
With CDK Technologies, since Bank Populaire III, in the 2000s - it was the first ORMA trimaran with curved foils. In fact, originally, society had been set up to serve as a technical laboratory for CRAIN (Research Centre for Architecture and the water industry) - I was working alongside Philippe Pallu de La Barrière. Our first project in common, in 1989, it was the little America's Cup to conceptualize CGU, equipped with a tilting wing. It was necessary to build the catamaran, and then follow it in Australia!
v & It was the first concrete example of a basic research...
In fact, with parallel the first gear of speed under the colours of the Charente Maritime. CRAIN had already collaborated with architects Joubert-Nivelt on oceanic catas Charente Maritime, but there, on entering into research and experimentation life-size! It was at this time that I began to realize composite parts within the centre, as I was seconded by Eric Bruneel who wore the CGU project.
v & It was then that began a collaboration on other large projects!
With the America's Cup, including, Yes, for the challenge of Marc Pajot with Ville de Paris in San Diego, in 1992. We worked on specific systems for the keel, with tests in the wind tunnel. Then again the challenge of 1995 with France 2-3 in order to achieve a campaign more built with hull basin tests, wind tunnel models: I support the construction and monitoring of these elements-tests on the test sites...
v & has originally, were you trained as an engineer?
Not at all! I walked a little by chance in the trade of the composite... I came to La Rochelle in 1983 with the Rochelaises regatta society, I met Jean-François Fountaine and Pierre Follenfant. I then integrated the technical team of Charente Maritime jobsite Pinta, where I stayed seven years as stratifieur. There has therefore been Charente Maritime 2, the 60 feet of Jean-Yves Terlain (Doctors without borders-PSU) as well as sailboats race of the time who came to rebuild a health or optimizations in La Rochelle (Kersauson, Poupon, Peyron, Tabarly, Pajot...). I have just learned in Marc Pinta - I came from Rouen, where these technologies were not developed. That's how I met Philippe Pallu de La Barrière, and Eric Bruneel, who worked on the first Corneel catas in a corner of the yard.
v & And, once integrated as a collaborator of CRAIN, projects are chained...
With including the french challenge Sixth sense of Luc Gellusseau. It has allowed me to meet all the french riders who gravitated around the Cup! I was able to develop the composite activity within CRAIN and, from 1996, I proposed to perpetuate our structure. We were then able to work on the protos electric, technological elements for the boating industry... And as, on the America's Cup, we especially directed structural parts and appendices, we were approached by Multiplast at the time of three catamarans The Race - and we realized the derivatives of these giants.
v & It is at this point that the company C3 technology sees the day...
Yes. And I had to expand the team, because we have worked for the ORMA trimarans (Banque Populaire, Sergio Tacchini, Sopra and Gitana...) and for the IMOCA monohulls (veils of keel in carbon, rudders, derivatives...) as Chimneys Poujoulat, Temenos, Sill, Bonduelle... In the last Vendée Globe, 11 boats had parts produced by C3 Technologies! At the time, there was so much work that he was very coherent remain integrated into a design office: in 2008, with a few employees and Philippe Pallu and myself, we repurchased activity to settle here, in Périgny.
v & So are you self-employed?
Yes, with our building, our machines, our tools, our autoclave, our digital die cutting. CRAIN has turned its activities to passenger when C3 Technologies is specialized in technical exhibit high strength. In six years, we have made much progress: we are ten to edge of society which has consolidated and well equipped. And we seek to diversify us, even if already our racing sector is well developed outside our borders...
v & What types of products you diversify you?
Americans we currently seek to achieve with rudders and derivatives for a 100-foot monohull. We have worked on a large unit put water in Dubai recently. Our radiation comes undoubtedly from the world of racing with skippers as Michel Desjoyeaux, Armel Le Cléac ' h, Jean Le Cam... And the architects and engineers who know us are also our promotion, which brings new customers.
v & But the race market is very small!
It's true, but side, there is the possibility to transpose our skills to other media such as large yachts or protos gear... While developing very specific manufacturing techniques. And as it gets closer to the aircraft approach, we begin to be listed by high-tech companies. We want to keep the 'pointed' side of the sail with the world of racing while working on aircraft of tourism... We have thus made a structural skeleton and removable carbon wings of a prototype all-electric.
v & A very different clientele!
It changes from the boat, Yes! The 'e-fan' aircraft developed by EADS was presented at the last Salon du Bourget in June 2013 and it flew its first flights recently successfully! It runs on batteries with the goal of being an aircraft with sufficient autonomy for its program. It is very interesting for us, because it fits into our field of expertise and that the sailing race works in cycles. Now we are on the preparation of the Vendée Globe 2016, because there are several boats under construction: saffron, Banque Populaire, without forgetting the Macif by François Gabart trimaran...
v & In fact, you realize that 'custom'parts...
Yes, with the protos, is automatically production unit - but with aeronautics, this could turn into small series. We do that technical composite parts and appendages are the perfect illustration: on the maxi-trimaran Spindrift, we have manufactured all the rudders, the derivatives and the foils. And we realize a new foil for the trimaran Bank Populaire VII
v & What has changed in terms of building on these appendages?
A little forms, but especially materials and implementation techniques. Given their level of solicitation, all these pieces are now done in autoclave. It also manufactures hollow parts made at once: it has become a little more complicated that a simple plate! For the foils of the maxi-trimaran, there are 116 mm of carbon in some places... This requires a bit of mastery with radii of curvature of 3.50 metres.
v & You have a design office to calculate efforts or are architects and engineers who give you the plan of draping?
It's too technical on this type of parts. Designers provide all the elements to build, but we happen to participate in structural design as for the trimmers that there on the ORMA trimarans.
 v & What trend on these appendages in terms of relief of stiffness?
It depends on parts and profiles. For the rudders should retain flexibility because the shovel works in torsion and so a certain bending support. For the foils, load cases are very different and it seeks to achieve a very steep part with little distortion. But now, you have to imagine composite parts with different resistance to torsion modules: there are very rigid parts and other more flexible. We have constraints of mass, load resistance, durability, precision, since most of our parts work dragging in another - a well, a hole... With the speeds reached by boats today, must be the game between Appendix and holds the smallest possible: we are in an adjustment of the order of a tenth of a millimeter... Twenty-five years ago, a multihull sailing exceptionally at more than 20 knots; Today, it is a cruising speed!
v & And in terms of profile?
There has been much evolution. Flows at 20 knots are not the same as 35-40 knots! The traditional Naca profile, it is passed to much more sophisticated forms. And we still have more resistant materials. And now there is the nano-particles that incorporate new carbons... We can also treat some stainless steels or some aluminium with these nano-particles on the surface, to block the phenomenon of oxidation.
v & And as regards to technologies?
Outside the autoclave, which brings a plus during stratification, there is also digital machining techniques, which we are equipped, allowing also to maintain the confidentiality of all records.
v & Can what sizes of parts you achieve in an autoclave?
We can make parts of 12 metres long and two metres in diameter: derivatives, foils, rudders, partitions... The speaker allows to climb to 8.5 bars of pressure and 170 ° C temperature, but, in general, it works at 110 ° C and between 2 and 5 bars, according to geometry, constituent material and the thickness of the workpiece.
v & And on the side of implementation implementation?
As a general rule, starts from the top surface. On a foil, we start with the outer skin, structural beam, a monolithic party that acts as a bumper on the leading edge, to which add different densities digitally machined and glued foams, skin and Interior after cooking. The technique of the shells is more current because it was discovered that one of the big dangers of this kind of implementation, they are "blind collages", i.e. of the junctions between the two shells that we cannot control. Currently, it has over blind collage.
v & This requires constant monitoring during cooking, non?
Yes, there are a multitude of alarm sensors - if the tarp comes off, if the vacuum is not done properly, if the temperature rise is not respected... There are bars of thermocouple to trace the history of the implementation. On the structural bar of this foil, he had four controls by ultrasound at every stage of the construction since this very thick piece is carried out in several phases: the resins used generate such energy calories that it causes significant exothermic phenomena as they are proportional to the mass of the workpiece. Therefore, proceed in stages with cooking differences: it's twenty years of experience... At the end, the piece finished and removed from the mould is still controlled to ensure that skins are perfectly together. In total, there are five controls quality!
v & what new parts have you realized in recent weeks?
The new rudders of PRB, as the skippers found they drew still more structurally on these appendages. The designs of these coins dated from 2006, that is of an era where the riders were not still operating to their machine at 100%. The evolution of the performance of the IMOCA monohulls is such that it may review the conceptual, both at the level of the drawing of the profile in terms of drape of fabrics. A new generation of appendages is underway, with new profiles and new structures... And we can respect the estimate of weight to a few kilos, as we demonstrated with the appendages of the MOD70, including derivatives...
v & Your core business remains the realization of technical parts in carbon. What are your competitors?
We are not many in France! There are Heol Composites in Vannes and Florian Madec Composites in Brest. Then there are Swiss, Italians... This is a very special know-how on a very small niche: design-construction-composite - from which the name of the company, C3 Technologies!

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