NetComposites
Attwater

Lightening the Load for the Stage Crew

04 March 2008

Dutch company Triple-E Lichtgewicht Meubilair B.V. in Winsum is now offering lightweight stage sections under the name “Flax-Deck”.

The low weight of the stackable and compact sections is due to a sandwich structure based on the Baypreg polyurethane spray system from Bayer MaterialScience.

Composite sandwich materials are generally lightweight and extremely stiff. The highly versatile stage sections consist of a light rigid foam core reinforced top and bottom with flax mats to absorb tensile forces, thereby increasing the strength of the composite. The sandwich structure can withstand a concentrated load of up to 150 kilograms. Its surface is protected by a highly abrasion-resistant and robust plastic layer that is available in various colours. Foldaway and height-adjustable aluminium legs are mounted underneath, enabling the sections to be easily set up and assembled.

During production, the fibre mats made out of natural flax are first impregnated on both sides with the dual-component polyurethane system using a spray process. The mats and the expanded polystyrene (EPS) core are then put together to form a sandwich and inserted into a preheated mould. The layered structure is pressed into the desired shape at temperatures normally ranging from 60 to 120degC and pressures between 6 and 8 bar and cures within a matter of minutes. Post-treatment of the sandwich composite by annealing, for example, is not necessary. This highly economical, one-step production process creates a permanently stable, extremely robust and rigid structure capable of withstanding high mechanical loads. This is due in no small measure to the polyurethane system’s excellent adhesion to various materials.