Hexcel is promoting its leading range of composite materials for skis, snowboards and other high performance sports equipment at the ISPO Winter Sports exhibition taking place in Munich, Germany.
According to Hexcel, their innovations in epoxy resins and carbon fabrics are transforming sports equipment, making it lighter, stronger and more resistant for world class competitors and the sporting enthusiast. Hexcel has a long history of supplying prepregs, laminates and polyurethane systems to ski and snowboard manufacturers, and has a range of composite products proven for recreation applications including the prepregs HexPly M49, EH04 and M77.
HexPly M77 is an epoxy resin that press cures in just 2 minutes at 150°C, supporting large volume automated production. HexPly M77 is supplied as prepreg with glass and carbon fibre. It is also available as HexMC, Hexcel’s high performance carbon fibre compound developed specifically for compression moulding.
Hexcel explains that a number of leading ski manufacturers use HexPly M77 for the fast and efficient production of high quality products. They have found that the system provides excellent adhesion to metal, wood, foam and other ski core materials. PrimeTex fabrics are made from carbon fibre that is spread in both the warp and weft direction to provide a highly uniform weave and gap-free finish. The PrimeTex spreading process increases the closure factor by 5-8% compared to conventional weaving processes (depending on the carbon tow and FAW). Low weight PrimeTex can lower the mass in a composite structure, resulting in even greater weight savings than with standard weave carbon fabrics.
Hexcel says that they have also developed the lightest 3K gap–free carbon fabric ever produced: PrimeTex Very Light Weight 98g/m². This new range of 3K carbon fabrics breaks through the conventional limits for fibre areal weight and opens the door to the cost-effective use of very light plies in composite lay-ups. PrimeTex VLW is 12% thinner than conventional 1K carbon fabrics, resulting in lighter structures and making it the perfect candidate for surface plies, sandwich constructions, structural parts or any other composite components requiring extreme lightness. PrimeTex is used by leading bike manufacturer Corima to manufacture the AERO+ MCC 100% carbon fibre wheel for road bikes that will be displayed on the Hexcel stand at ISPO. The Wheel rim, spokes and hub are made from Hexcel’s HexPly carbon fibre prepregs, using unidirectional reinforcements as well as PrimeTex. This very high performance wheel weighs just 1,000 grams for a pair.
Hexcel states that their Modipur Polyurethanes are used as a reinforcing core material in over 60% of the skis and snowboards being manufactured today and are more widely used than any others. Hexcel provides strong support to customers based on many years’ experience and know-how, helping them to adapt their process to incorporate polyurethanes.
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