STAMFORD, Conn. — January 23, 2017 — Hexcel is promoting its leading range of composite materials for skis, snowboards and other high performance winter sports equipment at ISPO MUNICH in February. To enable the creation of extremely lightweight components with no compromise in performance, technologies on display include: HexPly® M78.1, a fast-curing prepreg system offering ski manufacturers greater production flexibility and HiMax™ engineered multiaxial reinforcements.
A key supplier to the winter sports market for more than 40 years, Hexcel understands the unique requirements of this fast moving industry, where the drive for higher performance means manufacturers must continuously develop improved designs exploiting the latest technological advances. Hexcel’s innovations in epoxy resins, carbon fiber fabrics, prepregs, laminates and polyurethane systems are enabling the manufacture of lighter, stronger and more durable skis and snowboards to answer the needs of world class competitors, as well as the demanding sporting enthusiast.
At ISPO this year, Hexcel will introduce the latest addition to its HexPly prepreg range, which has been developed to help ski manufacturers reduce production cycle times.
HexPly M78.1 features a fast-curing hot melt epoxy resin matrix and is available with carbon, glass or aramid fiber reinforcements. It is designed for applications where short cycles at around 110°C are required. The prepreg cures in 7 minutes at 120°C, yet it has a long storage out life of 2 weeks at room temperature, meaning there is often no need for freezer storage, saving time and energy. HexPly M78.1 is a low tack system making it easy to handle. It also provides excellent adhesion to auxiliary and core materials including aluminum, wood, thermoplastics and elastomers. Customers are finding that this new system provides greater flexibility in ski manufacture, enhancing the process and the quality of the final product.
Following the acquisition of Formax in January 2016, Hexcel’s composite materials portfolio now includes the HiMax™ range of multiaxial fabrics. HiMax reinforcements are produced on state-of-the-art multiaxial machines in Leicester, England, and a selection of products will be on display at ISPO for the first time. Hexcel’s fiber spreading capability allows the development of ultra-lightweight carbon multiaxials that offer significant weight advantages for manufacturers of skis and other sporting equipment, where every extra gram of weight is critical in improving performance. With multiaxial reinforcements the fibers can be placed in different axes to optimize the performance of the finished laminate.
HiMax carbon multiaxials are available in a wide range of fabric styles with weights per ply from as low as 50 grams per square meter, fiber orientations from 22.5° through to 90° in up to four layers, and a wide range of fiber types from 3k upwards. Hexcel’s Research & Technology team collaborates closely with customers to develop fabrics optimized for their individual application and processing technique. A recent project involved the creation of a bespoke range of carbon triaxial reinforcements for a custom freeride ski brand, helping the customer deliver a product with a lightweight, soft flex and reactive ride whilst retaining strength and durability.
Hexcel will exhibit on Booth 344, Hall A4, in the Ski exhibit area at ISPO MUNICH sports exhibition in Germany February 5-8, 2017.
Posted January 23, 2017