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Boeing and Russell Athletic give 787 carbon fiber new life on football field

News International-French

28 Aug 2014

The companies announced that they are working together to incorporate excess carbon fiber from 787 Dreamliner production in Russell Athletic protective athletic gear.

The companies will expand an initial collaboration that puts 787 carbon fiber into Russell Athletic's new CarbonTek football shoulder pad system. Boeing and Russell Athletic see significant benefits in using aerospace-grade carbon fiber because the carbon filaments provide a high strength-to-weight ratio and greater durability.

Boeing, which markets surplus factory materials to meet the company's environmental and business goals, sees more opportunities to repurpose carbon fiber as it increases the use of composites in its commercial airplanes. Composite materials make up 50 percent of the primary structure of the 787, including the fuselage and wing, helping to make the Dreamliner 20 percent more fuel efficient than the airplane it replaces. In addition, Boeing's new 777X will be the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jet in the world due in part to the industry's largest composite wing.

The CarbonTek with OS Technology (patent-pending) shoulder pad system has the sports industry's first-ever exoskeleton made of aerospace-grade carbon fiber, which is thinner, stronger and approximately 10 percent lighter compared to competitors. The high-performance fiber also offers an increased range of motion and secure fit for the athlete's body.

Several elite collegiate players from Division I universities will be wearing the CarbonTek throughout the upcoming football season, as well as Russell Athletic's three pro football ambassadors: Pierre Garcon, Mark Ingram and Colt McCoy.

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