Why dark matter composites?
The field of composites has always been considered a ‘black art’ or 'very secretive' – and companies rarely share knowledge. For anyone trying to get into composites, good knowledge and help is hard to find. Industry experts can be wary of sharing experience, built up over many years, and some of the composites training that is available is inconsistent or incomplete. This continues to hinder the composites industry. There are also few really good books that offer practical advice for people interested in the field – hence the ‘dark’ unknown bit which we intend to shed light upon.
Composites range from very simple to very high tech engineering materials. Advanced composites include different fibres, fabrics, resins and core materials and the sheer range and combination of these materials adds to the complexity of working with composites – hence the ‘matter’.
A composite material is defined as a mixture of two or more materials that when combined give properties superior to those of the individual components – so ‘dark matter composites’ seemed appropriate.
Dark Matter Composites was formed in 2005 to initially provide design, prototyping and consultancy services for composites. However, there was a marked interest for training courses from our customers who knew our prior training expertise and there were few companies who could provide the training to the standards required.
The three main questions asked when providing composite training are:
1. Who is providing the tuition?
2. What are the facilities like?
3. What are they going to teach our delegates?
The key issue was the amount of resource required to run courses well. To be successful in providing composite training courses we had to be in it for the long term to be able to invest. Training provision also had to be up to date, demonstrating best industry practice using well equipped facilities, competent tutors and recognised courses.
The decision was made to focus the company’s growth in providing the best training courses to the composites industry and establishing a strong brand with a reputation that exceeded the customer’s expectations.
In 2009 we moved to larger premises and invested in more advanced facilities. Our composite training facility can support up to twelve delegates on a single course and provides a flexible training environment that promotes best practice, minimises process risk and ensures low tutor to delegate ratios.
Our process specific courses, training resources and expert delivery are based on experience gained over this time. Over the last ten years, our technical course content has increased by an average of 50% and the practical tasks updated accordingly.
We have been lead consultants for writing the UK’s National Occupation Standards that dictate the content of qualifications. All our courses are fully documented to the UK's Qualifications and Curriculum Authority standards and our tutors have teaching qualifications and are fully trained and assessed in-house to guarantee the quality of our courses.
Over the years, we have built a customer base that spans industry sectors rather than focus on one industry sector. We have a reputation for delivering actual solutions beyond expectations. Click here to see a list of our customers.
Complementary to our training services is our expert consultancy, specialising in composite design and process solutions through to facility design and specification. We keep up to date with the latest processing solutions and have recently made advancements with dust free composite repair operations.