SEP 2018


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SEPTEMBER 2018 70 CompositesWorld INSIDE MANUFACTURING the "high-modulus HR40 carbon fiber produces a more rapidly responding mast and less energy loss as wind gusts blow through," Maier contends. CAD-designed patterns for the mast are cut using a precision cutting table from Autometrix (Grass Valley, CA, US). Pattern accuracy, says Maier, is critical if what he calls mast flex — that is, the degree to which it bends under sailing loads — is to be consistent. e patterns are then rolled around a tapering mandrel according to the ply laminate schedule. Table-rolled first is a sheet of unidirectional (UD) prepreg that combines HR40 carbon fiber (640 ksi tensile strength, 54 msi tensile modulus) with Mitsubishi's Newport 301 semi- toughened, 250-300°F (121-149°C) cure epoxy matrix. Areas of point loading are reinforced with a prepreg plain weave 33 msi carbon fiber in HexPly F515, 250°F- cure epoxy matrix from Hexcel. e outside of the mast is a Hexcel prepreg of 7781 woven E-glass — the glass selected for ultraviolet (UV) and damage protec- tion — in HexPly F515 matrix. As rolling proceeds, each ply is highly compacted to ensure good consolida- tion prior to cure. e finished laminate is then wrapped with shrink tape to apply high pressure during cure. e amount of tape and tension applied is controlled to result in 60-80 psi when heat is applied. e mast is then oven-cured. Cure parameters are managed by a Simatic Programmable Logic Controller from Siemens (Munich, Germany) but Maier says the specified time and tempera- ture are considered ICE intellectual property because "we do not often follow the manufacturers' recommen- dations. ICE makes a large investment Read this article online | Read online about the Volvo 65, one example of a "one-design" boat racing class |

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