Apple is looking into new ways to save weight on their MacBooks, a recent USPTO filing shows. They have patented a new way to create carbon fiber composites that—unlike traditional ones—look sleek, shiny, and lickable:
A composite laminate having an improved cosmetic surface is presented herein. The composite laminate includes a plurality of sheets of preimpregnated material, or prepreg, stacked one over another and a scrim layer provided on an exterior surface of the sheets of prepreg. The scrim layer and the sheets of prepreg form a composite laminate whereby the scrim layer constitutes an outer, exposed surface of the composite laminate. Each sheet of prepreg is made from fibers preimpregnated with resin, and the fibers of the prepreg may be substantially parallel or woven carbon fibers. The scrim layer may be a glass fiber or carbon fiber scrim, or veil, that has absorbed resin from the sheets of prepreg during a molding process. In another embodiment, the composite laminate includes a plurality of sheets of prepreg stacked one over another and first and second scrim layers provided on opposing exterior surfaces of the sheets of prepreg, whereby the sheets of prepreg are sandwiched between the first and second scrim layers. The first and second scrim layers constitute exposed surfaces of the composite laminate.
Since scrim absorbs resin of the composite, scrim takes on the cosmetic properties and color of resin. Also [...] scrim is very thin, and it is translucent, and the underlying fibers of composite are partially visible therethrough [...] The combination of resin and scrim forming scrim layer imparts a depth to surface of composite laminate, thereby providing an improved cosmetic surface of a molded article formed therefrom that is not only consistent in appearance, but is also aesthetically pleasing.
And other yadda yadda yadda and blah blah blah. Summary: They have discovered a new way to shave pounds of your future notebook that won't look like crap. Sounds good to me. [Apple Insider]