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Wheelchair Composite Technology Propelled into the Future

12 November 2004

Invacare Corporation have signed a technology agreement with Vyatek Sports to develop applications for award-winning IsoGrid technology and complimentary Bi-Fusion metal bonding technology.

This composite technology fuses titanium with carbon, and it will be used on a variety of Invacare's custom wheelchairs and components to eliminate extra weight on products.

IsoGrid Technology allows the design of a new generation of high-performance composite parts that are lighter, stronger and stiffer than conventional composite parts. IsoGrid products can also be designed to possess unique damping (or feel) qualities to enhance product applications. The structural benefits of IsoGrid help push the performance envelope of weight-critical, thin-walled Top End products.

NetComposites readers may recall that Vyatek Sports won the Innovation of the Year Award at JEC 2002 for their IsoGrid Technology. IsoGrid is a patented technology that incorporates an internal (or external) array of raised ribs designed to enhance the structural integrity of thin-walled structures.

Bi-Fusion Technology incorporates integrally moulded metallic fittings on each end of the composite tube, allowing the composite/metal hybrid tubes to then be effectively welded into frames. The high-pressure moulded Bi-Fusion joints are stronger than conventional blind bonds and deliver an elegant flush fitting permanent connection between the composite and metallic regions.

""We are the first company in our industry to use this type of technology. It will allow us to make great weight saving adjustments to Invacare's custom wheelchairs and Top End products, specifically in our Top End rigid line,"" said Chris Peterson, manager of Top End product development. ""This technology is the wave of the future, so we are very excited about this agreement.""

""We're thrilled to be associated with Invacare and appreciate their recognition of the value that IsoGrid & Bi-Fusion bring to their products,"" said Howard Lindsay, president of Vyatek. ""This contract helps us expand our technology and brand presence into the medical products market by supplementing current agreements in high-end consumer markets such as bicycling, racket sports, golf equipment, ski poles, lacrosse sticks and motor-sports.""

Vyatek functions as a technology incubator that develops new technologies in conjunction with strategic partners from throughout the technology sector. These companies create state-of-the-art products that are then sold through Vyatek's network of affiliate licensing partners.






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