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The 2015 ICF World Championship Finals for Freestyle Kayaking took place last year on 5 September 2015 at Garberator Wave on the Ottawa River in Canada with all, bar one, of the winning boats built using an innovative, new laminate design for top end competition kayaks, with Crestapol 1250LV specified as the high performance infusion resin.
According to Scott Bader, the resin was used along with a carbon fibre (CF) and Innegra HIC fabric reinforcement system (a co-mingled hydrophobic woven fabric made with Innegra H yarns). Crestapol 1250LV is described as an ambient curing urethane acrylate thermosetting resin, developed by Scott Bader for producing high performance carbon fibre reinforced, glass fibre, and aramid fibre parts by vacuum infusion or resin transfer moulding (RTM) at room temperature.
Murky Water Paddling Supplies is a Canadian company located in Binbrook, Ontario, Canada, less than 65 km from Niagra Falls. Murky Water custom builds for Jackson Kayaks, supplying Crestapol – Innegra / carbon specification composite boats ordered by customers; this included the two ‘Rockstar’ kayaks used by this year’s men’s and women’s K1 class world championship finalist winners, Dane Jackson and Emily Jackson, both from the US. There was also success in the men’s and women’s Squirt class ICF finals, where again the 2015 world champions, Stephen Wright (US) and Claire O’Hara (UK) took first place paddling Murky Water’s built ‘Slip’ composite squirt boats, resin infused using Crestapol 1250LV resin reinforced with CF and Innegra HIC woven fabric.
Scott Bader claims that this composite laminate system is now the preferred and recommended specification for top performance boats by Ed Skrzypkowski, Owner and Head Moulder of Murky Water, who has over 30 years’ experience in composite boat moulding and does most of the materials research and final selection for production. Initial contact was made with Scott Bader two years ago to trial an epoxy bonding Crystic gelcoat. After discussions with Jeff Starcher, North American Technical Sales Manager for Scott Bader, about using Crestapol 1250LV infusion resin as an alternative to the vinyl ester (VE) or epoxy higher performance liquid resin systems used up until then, Ed Skrzypkowski agreed to put Crestapol lamination resin to the test and build a trial kayak to establish how well it would perform with the proven carbon fibre-Innegra HIC fabric reinforcement system for higher performance boats.
The polypropylene based Innegra fibre co-woven and co-mingled fabric product options using fibre produced by Innegra Technologies, originally selected to make lighter and tougher kayaks, have been successfully used by Murky Boats for some years; Innegra fibres are typically used in combination with other high modulus fibres, such as glass, carbon and basalt to increase toughness and durability, while also providing energy dissipation, vibration damping, and significant weight reduction. The expectation prior to moulding a boat with Crestapol as the laminate resin was that further performance gains would be made; the new combination did not disappoint.
Scott Bader explains that the performance of the Crestapol 1250LV prototype boat surprised the Murky Water team, providing a winning combination of additional weight reduction and greater impact strength, toughness and durability to cope with the extensive amount of repeated high impact abuse ‘bottoming out’ in rocky shallows, sliding down rocky sections and the water slamming after taking off that occurs when whitewater kayaking in fast running rivers.
Ed Skrzypkowski explained why they invested the time to develop this new laminate system and what they found, “Murky Water is always on the lookout for new and innovative materials to build the best products we can. Our aim is to make kayaks as light and as strong as possible. Crestapol 1250LV resin is an impressive product which compliments the amazing performance of the Innegra fabric. We now much prefer using Crestapol to a vinyl ester or epoxy. Not only is it easier to make boats with, but it also offers competition paddlers a faster, higher performance kayak.” Due to the very high mechanical properties of the Crestapol resin, combined with the greater vacuum infusion moulding control possible, less resin is used and so a thinner, lighter laminate can be moulded, saving both weight and cost, with improved laminate performance.
Scott Bader said that Murky Water also found a number of attractive production benefits to using Crestapol instead of an epoxy or vinyl ester (VE) resin. Firstly, the Crestapol resin is fully compatible with both a conventional UV weather resistant unsaturated polyester resin (UPR) marine grade gelcoat and the woven CF-Innegra HIC reinforcements. Secondly, Crestapol 1250LV infusion resin proved to be much easier and quicker to process, curing rapidly at ambient temperature, with no requirement for any post-cure treatment. For all manufacturers, Scott Bader explains there is the added production benefit of being able to use conventional UPR closed moulding systems for all Crestapol resins, with processing parameter flexibility to suit different production conditions and requirements.
Image provided by Scott Bader
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