What Makes the Best Sporting Equipment
Expertise and Innovation - Stories by Coats
The enjoyment of and participation in sports dates back to around 760BC, when the first Olympic Games were recorded. Since then, types of sports have evolved as well as the equipment required to perform in those sporting events. As the love of sports has grown, athletes continue to look for cutting-edge products which are lighter weight and offer increased tensile strength, durability, impact absorption, resistance and stiffness to improve performance.
Around the globe composite materials have made their way into nearly every facet of sports. Made from blending two or more base materials together, composites can offer multiple benefits which far outweigh those of wood or metal. This shift has helped professional athletes continually improve their performance so much so, that amateur athletes are seeking out equipment with the same qualities.
Benefits of Composites
To attain the perfect composite part, a thermoset or thermoplastic process can be used, and one of the numerous methods for fabricating composite components. All involve some form of moulding, to shape the resin and reinforcement. A mould tool is required to give the uniformed resin and fibre combination its shape and some method of curing is needed.
|Uses yarns which can be re-melted||Uses resin which cannot be re-melted|
|Increased impact resistance (in comparison to thermoset)||Excellent resistance to solvents and corrosives|
|Lower moulding cycle time||Excellent resistance to heat and high temperature|
|Improved flexibility to mould small parts of different shapes||Good fatigue strength|
|Faster, easier to process (pourable, automatable, meltable, etc.)||Tailored elasticity|
|Can be recycled (as long as not reinforced or containing only short fibres or mineral fillers)||Excellent adhesion|
|Lower cost alternative (to thermoset)||Excellent finishing (polishing, painting, etc.)|
|Challenging to impregnate reinforcing fibres (uniformity of thermoplastic yarn and reinforcement fibre a must)||Slow curing process|
|Special tooling and equipment needed||Limited shelf life|
No matter the process, from performance bikes to tennis racquets, golf shafts, fishing rods and surfboards, composites can now be found in nearly 70% of the most popular sport and recreational activities.
It has been reported that the global sports composites market could reach $3.75 billion by 2021, registering a CAGR of 5.59% between 2016 and 2021.
From the field to the venue, composite fibres are making their way into every facet of your favourite sporting event.
Coats Synergex is a custom range of composite fibres which offers the perfect combination of lightweight and strength to high performance sporting equipment. Using a patented process, known as Lattice, Synergex commingled or twisted composite fibres can be laid uni-directionally into a net-shape preform. The advantage being more optimized fibre placement, quicker processing times, reduced material waste and costs as well as perfectly repeatable parts.