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FRP producer Lamilux is revolutionising the properties and manufacturing process for boards and skis in the sports equipment industry with a new, fibre-reinforced composite material.
Made of carbon and glass fibres, the high-tech material LAMIsport X-treme forms the upper and lower layers (upper and lower skins) in a compact, compressed sandwich structure. This material features 15 percent lower weight while offering high UV resistance and extreme stiffness and strength for sports equipment. Direct printing on the surface and savings on further sandwich layers also ensure a more efficient production process.When featured as an upper skin in sports boards or skis, this new material replaces the several layers used in conventional production processes with just one single-layer surface. 'With this newly developed material, we combine four layers into one,' affirms Sascha Oswald, Product Manager at Lamilux. These layers include the top sheet with its smooth surface, UV resistance and printability, a thin adhesive layer and a further layer containing reinforcement fibres and a protection film, which protects the upper skin against scratches during the subsequent processing steps.Oswald sees a great advantage in its surface printing, possible when the protection film is applied. 'Dye-sublimation printing allows the colour particles to be diffused directly into surface.' The process-capable protection film may also remain attached during all further production stages.Inseparable, light and torsion-resistant laminateThe gelcoat also provides protection for the highly glossy surface once it is used in products such as skis, snowboards or wakeboards. As Lamilux manufactures its fibre-reinforced composites in a continuous production process, surface refinement is already added during production instead of at a later stage.Skis and sport boards owe their extreme stiffness combined with light weight to the material consisting of a high-strength, sturdy sandwich layer made of carbon, glass fibres and resin. The fibres are arranged in a unidirectional, bidirectional, tridirectional or multi-directional alignment in the composite. 'The fibre alignment, fibre type and fibre volume fraction that we choose depends directly on the future load requirements,' explains Oswald. 'The material has been developed for the high mechanical loads in skis and sport boards. Thanks to its high reinforcement fibre content and its flexible, robust epoxy resin system, LAMIsport X-Treme is the optimum material for building lightweight sports equipment.'Also visually appealingAvailable in white and numerous other colours, Lamilux also manufactures this material in a translucent version for use with high-grade wooden cores. The material also offers powerful visual appeal as a black carbon layer which features a visible multi-directional woven fabric structure on the surface of boards or skis.More information:www.lamilux.com