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3 TEX Develop New Fibre Reinforcements for Marine Industry

  • Friday, 4th November 2005
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

3 TEX, developer of 3-D woven and braided composite reinforcement materials, has issued two new reinforcement materials, ZPlex and 3Braid.

3TEX has released its newest product, ZPlex, a 3D reinforcement for vacuum infusion and RTM that imbeds a closed cell core within its standard 3WEAVE three-dimensional woven material.

“The uniqueness of ZPlex is that it’s a single ply integrated reinforcement with the ability to conform to complex shapes,” said Bob Schartow, 3TEX Director of Specialty Products. “Through our patented weaving process, we are able to imbed a closed cell core during the 3WEAVE process, and fully integrate it by the woven Z fibre. This process allows 3TEX to create woven products with unique characteristics and properties, such as the new ZPlex product.”

ZPlex is currently being offered in one-quarter inch and three-eights inch PE core thickness with 54oz/sq yd structural 3WEAVE skins. The material can be cut with scissors. The PE core does not compact under vacuum, does not absorb moisture and will not delaminate because of the Z fibres. In addition to its high conformability, ZPlex can be compressed in RTM process to create variable thickness. While not intended to replace balsa and other high compression, thick core materials used in highly structural applications, this product is designed with shear webs and pillars for light structural applications. ZPlex can be used to bridge gaps between conventional less conforming cores.

“ZPlex is an ideal solution for boat builders who are looking for ways to save labour cost in their manufacturing processes,” explained Schartow. “Using ZPlex, builders can combine the structural reinforcement of glass with a lightweight core in a single ply lay-up. The PE core material integrated between the skins also gives ZPlex insulation qualities, making it an ideal material for hatches, engine covers, doors, bulkheads, wells, and liners with complex shapes.

3TEX have also issued 3BRAID Fillet Reinforcement, what they claim to offer a cost effective way of applying a higher level of reinforcement to the corners and crevices found in boat hulls.

The rope-like E-glass 3BRAID product is braided in a delta shape and is an ideal replacement for fillet putty as boat builders try to add increased structural strength in the strakes and chines found in hulls.

“Our new 3BRAID Fillet Reinforcement can be laid in at the same time as the rest of the hull reinforcement, whether a builder is doing hand lay up or vacuum infusion,” explained Bob Schartow, Director of Specialty Products at 3TEX. “The strakes and chines of a boat hull take the most abuse from trailering and beaching a boat, or if hitting something in the water. Our Fillet Reinforcement offers designers and buildrs a way to increase the glass content in this high impact area of the hull, thus making it stronger than when using a traditional filler putty.”

3 TEX suggest that at higher speeds, chips can lead to hydrodynamic delamination and strengthening these areas can lead to a safer product. The Fillet Reinforcement from 3TEX is manufactured with the company’s patented three-dimensional braiding process.

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