Carbon Fibre Dart Wins Praise from Aficionados

29 January 2008

An international supplier of darts has enhanced the reliability and prolonged the performance lifetime of its products through use of a tough, stiff, carbon fibre-reinforced nylon compound from Chem Polymer.

Evolution Dart-Technologie uses Beetle 66CF4, a 20% carbon fibre-filled nylon 66 compound, to injection mould 34 and 44 mm (1.3 and 1.7 in.) shafts that are lighter than widely used metal counterparts and exhibit greater resistance to breakage than conventional thermoplastic shafts.

""The perpendicular forces generated in the dart as it strikes the target are great enough to pose a real challenge for other all-plastic shafts,"" noted Roland Kühn, owner of Evolution, ""but the outstanding tensile and flexural properties of the Beetle compound make our new shafts better capable of withstanding the considerable stresses imposed on them in repeated use by intensely competitive dart players.""

There are four components in a dart. The most apparent to non-players are the tip, the barrel (gripped by the player), and the flight (fins that stabilize the dart as it moves through the air). The fourth component is the small but critical shaft, which connects the barrel and the flight. The shaft is threaded at one end and screws into the barrel; the flight is affixed to the shaft by rings or other fasteners. Different lengths are available to vary dart performance. The shaft can be made of metal, plastic, or a combination of plastic and a threaded metal segment.

""The high stiffness imparted by the carbon fibre reinforcement in the Beetle compound has enabled Evolution to completely replace metal in the shaft, saving weight while providing the dimensional stability required for an accurate and secure connection between the flight and the barrel,"" said Dr. Inge Würtz, Chem Polymer sales manager. ""At the same time, the carbon fibres provide greater flexibility than comparably filled glass fibre composites, which are more brittle and less capable of withstanding repeated stresses without breakage.""

Evolution began using Beetle 66CF4 only a few months ago. ""Although we have offered our carbon fibre reinforced shafts for only a short time, they are already very much in demand by our customers,"" said Mr. Kühn. ""The high quality of the Beetle material is a perfect fit with our range of darts, which are widely regarded by players as first-class products.""