Designing CORE doesn't stop at the tooling. We also spend a great deal of time ensuring that the laminate structure
for our composite blades is perfect as well. Once the design and tooling are complete we spend months making prototypes
and tweaking each laminate structure to ensure that the composite blade meets the expectations established in the 3D CAD models.
Composites are essentially sheets of fabric ( carbon or glass ) glued together under pressure. It is the combination of various sheets of material that determines the laminate structure. Each component of the laminate structure is designed to provide a specific direction of strength. The orientation of the strands within the fabric determining how the material will carry load.
Each piece of the laminate can be a different weight of material and can be laid in any orientation from zero to 90 degrees.
This results in an almost infinite number of combinations possible. Our composites experience focuses this structure
into a particular direction but each blade is tweaked, tested and tweaked again until we are confident that the desin goals
have been met. 10+ laminate tests later we have what we feel is ideal.
The epoxy used in the consolidation of this laminate structure plays the final role in how the final blade will perform. Each
epoxy has it's unique combination of strength, impact resistance and ease of processing. With CORE we went through
4 different epoxy trials until we found one that exemplified our requirements.
It is almost unheard of to not have failures during the initial testing phase but to date we have not had a single composite blade fail in testing. Validation for an amazing design.
Advanced Gas Assist Injection Molding
One of the biggest challenges we had in developing CORE was developing an injection molding process that would allow us to manufacture the advanced shapes we required for the blades. We wanted our Thermoplastic blades to retain every last bit of the performance we had designed into them. After about 12 months of searching we found a local molding company that was willing to help us develop a new type of molding process: Advanced Gas Assist.
Traditional gas assist molding is used by many of our competitors but there has always been restrictions in the shapes possible due to technical issues with the process.
We developed a new tooling design that allows us to mold a larger core cavity than traditionally thought possible.
This new process allows us to hollow out a larger cavity while maintaining a thinner wall section. It also allows us to design and maintain better transition zones between the surfaces resulting in better energy transfer. We also worked extensively with material suppliers to develop a material that would match the physical requirements required for the blade. Target weight for the Thermoplastic blades is less than15% more than our carbon composite samples. End result is a Thermoplastic blade that will paddle better than composite.
We can't go into too much detail because the process is proprietary but we can guarantee that our Thermoplastic bladed paddles will change your perception of what non-composite paddles are capable of.