Top sports performance thanks to composites

From water to cycling sports: Success thanks to CFP

Yachting is among the pioneers in CFP use. Hulls made of carbon-fibre reinforced composites have been used for both canoes and kayaks but also rowing boats and sailing yachts for many years now. This makes them lighter, more agile and easier to manoeuvre. Furthermore, rudders and paddles are made of fibre composites as well as surf and kite boards. And composites have even made inroads into swimming: the latest generations of swimsuits for top athletes – so-called Powerskins or Powersuits – contain a CFP admixture that flexibly and elastically stabilises the swimmer’s posture in the water while offering full freedom of movement nonetheless.

Successes are also celebrated thanks to CFP in professional golf or track and field athletics. At golf tour level or in the low Handicap spheres nearly all the clubs from drivers to the smallest of fairway woods now consist of composites. Like high jump rods, javelin throw spears and discus disks but also prosthetic limbs for sprinters and long jump athletes score points with low weight, high stiffness and, hence, outstanding competition properties. The same applies to ball sports such as table tennis, hockey, cricket or lacrosse, where clubs without a composite admixture would be inconceivable today. For winter sports helmets, ice hockey sticks, skis complete with shoes and sticks, snowboards, ice skates, luges and bob sleds are made of high-tech, fibre-reinforced materials. The market is “ginormous” and nearly all renowned sports equipment manufacturers depend on composite materials.

Cycling shows the enormous impact that CFP can have on the development of a whole sports discipline. Lighter and stiffer frames are used for both mountain bikes, road and in-door racing bikes but also for e-bikes and trekking bikes in mass sports. Now even more components are made of CFP such as handlebars, seat stays, forks, rims, cranks and pedals bringing down the weight of competition cycles to a mere 7kg. Pierre Bischoff, the Lightweight Technologies Forum Ambassador, will demonstrate how to score successes with such “lightweights”. He has won the Race Across America, the hardest bicycle race in the world, with a CFP bike of this kind.

Composites Europe 2018 in Stuttgart

Technological advances in the process chain are among the current drivers pushing the development of efficient lightweight construction solutions and their implementation in high-volume production. From 6 to 8 November, COMPOSITES EUROPE will show all the manufacturing processes used to make fibre-reinforced plastics, from raw materials to processing methods to lightweight construction innovations in automotive engineering, aerospace, boatbuilding, wind energy and construction.

Visitors will meet more than 400 exhibitors from 30 countries in Stuttgart, the leading technology region of the industry in Germany, the leading research and development country worldwide, who’ll put on display state-of-the-art technology and the potential of composites –and not just in the exhibition space but also in the numerous event areas, lecture forums, themed guided tours and workshops.

Composites Europe is organised by trade fair organiser Reed Exhibitions in cooperation with the European industry association EuCIA and the trade association Composites Germany, a coalition whose members include the industry associations and clusters AVK, CCeV, CFK-Valley and the VDMA Working Group Hybrid Lightweight Technologies.

Source: Reed Exhibitions


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Reed Exhibitions is the world's leading events organiser, with over 440 events in 36 countries. In 2009 Reed brought together over six million active event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business.

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