Because of their good mechanical properties, good corrosion resistance and their low density the use of composites in boatbuilding is widespread. The purpose of this diploma work was to fabricate a composite material with appropriate mechanical properties for a sailboat hardtop at a satisfactory price. Therefore, the composite plates with different combinations of materials were made, following two different processing routes: infusion and wet lay-up. The samples were subjected to a bend test, their microstructures were analyzed and a cost analysis was made.
Microstructural analysis showed that the fibers are more apart in the composites by wet lay-up processing route, and that individual layers are more apart in the composites with epoxy resin as a matrix. None of the samples failed during bend test. Nevertheless, it was seen that the composites made by wet lay-up had less flaws than the composites made by infusion. The same goes for the composites with carbon fibers (reinforcement) and the composites with epoxy resin (matrix). The cost analysis showed that the cheapest combination of materials was a combination of vinylester resin as a matrix and glass fiber as reinforced material. On the basis of the obtained results, it was concluded that the most appropriate composite material for the sailboat hardtop would be the one with vinylester resin matrix reinforced with glass fibers and made by wet lay-up process.