Registration and Networking




Keynote: The History of Composites in Sport

Geraint Havard, R-TECH Materials

Sport has long had a drive for innovation. Athletes and teams have consistently pushed the boundaries of what is possible, both legally and illegally, in order to gain a competitive advantage. One technology that has consistently delivered major gains and revolutionised many sports is the use of composites. Their use has gone from peripheral to widespread in a couple of decades, while delivering a conveyor belt of winners and world records. From formula one to cycling, football boots to ice hockey sticks, these days very few sports don’t involve the use of composites in some capacity. But what is it about these materials that make them so desirable in a field of innovation?


Not Just a Pretty Lace – Natural Fibre Reinforcement Hybrids for Sporting Goods

Gareth Davies, Composites Evolution

Composites Evolution


Break and Exhibits


Speciality Fabrics for High Performance, Cost-effective, Visually Appealing Sports Equipment

Pascal Joubert des Ouches, Chomarat

The presentation will cover Chomarat's materials: C-PLY™ shallow angles, in the case of parts with preferential direction such as skis, windsurf boards, hydrofoils, are improving the fatigue resistance, delaying microcracks, lowering the weight and improving dynamic control and behavior on different playgrounds. MAUÏ FIN COMPANY Hydrofoil DYNASTAR Ski Touring NEILPRYDE RS:X convertible case study. Special stitches have been developed to enhance visual appeal and improve resistance against crack propagation.


STRUCTeam and Ruster Sports Optimisation of the New Dimond Bike Frame

Frederic Louarn, STRUCTeam

This project was carried out by STRUCTeam for Ruster Sport for their new Dimond triathlon bike design. The objective was twofold; firstly to provide Ruster Sport with an understanding of complex load paths within the critical chainstay crotch area of the bike and to make basic recommendations with regards to local reinforcement; secondly, to validate Ruster's final laminates. Between these two phases, Ruster Sport carried out a reality check of what was achievable in terms of laminates, considering geometrical constraints in this area along with practicalities of the complex closed mould RTM process. Taking these constraints into account, together with STRUCteam’s recommendations, they were able to produce a realistic and structurally effective final laminate specification. This was then validated by STRUCTeam using appropriate safety margins for composite structures. STRUCTeam's approach consisted of developing design load cases to be implemented in a global beam finite element model of the frame. Chainstay loads were extracted from this global model and applied to a local shell finite element model of the frame chainstay, enabling detailed analysis of load paths within the critical crotch area. Interaction between STRUCTeam and Ruster Sports was key to the optimisation of the new Dimond bike frame product which was launched successfully at the end of 2016.


N12 A ‘Nano’ Value Proposition That Works by Design!

Ian Sanderson, N12 Technologies Inc (USA)

100 trillion VACNTs per m2 - 0.5% aerial weight = sustained performance, 4-10x longer life, less mass = increased 'value' in pro and consumer sport .


Lunch and Exhibits


Composite Engineering in Racquet Sport

Stefan Mohr, Head Sport

Starting from a historic overview on composite engineering in racquet sport, HEAD will present how tennis racquets are designed, engineered and manufactured today. Older engineering paradigms like stiffness and strength optimisation are still valid, but need to be supplemented with strongly consumer centered approaches. As an example we will present some result on the transient vibration of a tennis racquet and how product performance and quality is related here.


Characterisation, Numerical Analysis and Design Improvement of Composite Cross-Country Ski Poles

Martin Fagerström, Chalmers University of Technology

An important aspect for improved competitiveness in cross-country skiing is weight reduction of poles. High-end carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) ski poles of today are lighter and stiffer than previous generations, explained by the times higher specific stiffness of CFRPs compared to aluminium. A negative aspect is however that ski poles have become increasingly brittle, which can have devastating consequences for the skier in a race. Thus, there is a strong need to find the best design of composite ski poles with a good balance between weight/inertia, stiffness and strength. To avoid resource expensive development on a “trial and error” basis, a better understanding of the mechanisms of failure in these poles under impact and transverse loadings is needed. There is also an apparent need to establish a predictive simulation driven design process in which different pole concepts can be tested and compared virtually. In the current work, we have investigated pole concepts by mechanical testing and by microscopy and fractographic investigations. The conclusion is that the strive for optimised weight and bending stiffness has driven the pole design to be sub-optimal with an increased sensitivity to transverse and impact loads. We have also developed numerical tools which accurately can predict the bending and stress state in ski poles under axial as well as transverse loading conditions. Thus, we here present a first step towards a simulation driven design process which when fully developed allows for finding an optimal balance between competing requirements on weight, stiffness and strength.


Understanding the Desired Structural Characteristics of a Kitesurf Board

Kelvin Lake, University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD)

This work demonstrates how to use Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Optimisation techniques on composite components in structural environments and discusses the impact that this has on the design process. To do this, the desired structural performance must first be understood. Using Kitesurfing boards aimed at different styles of riders as an example, this study establishes the desired structural characteristics of such components, through static bending and torsion tests, as well as dynamic natural frequency tests using a Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometer. These structural characteristics are then designed into boards so that they have these characteristics by applying established contemporary techniques from the Automotive and the Aerospace industries. This design methodology results in better products reaching the market quicker rather than using the traditional iterative approach that many SMEs still rely upon. This paradigm shift in the design process has been made possible by advances in hardware and software as well as the introduction of other resources that are available, such as cloud computing. This means that a design process that traditionally has only been available to industries that have significant resources available to them, is available to, and should be used by, any manufacturer that wishes to be successful producing structural composite components.


Q&A Session


Walk to Sports Technology Institute


Tour and Demonstrations: Sports Technology Institute

Paul Sherratt, Sports Technology Institute


Return to Main Conference/Close


Registration and Networking


Para-Athletes can provide exciting challenges and the ideal platform on which to implement technological solutions. Para Sit-Skiing is no exception with its complex set of dynamic, ambient and athletic conditions. The bespoke nature of the equipment drives low cost tooling solutions and rapid measure to make production techniques. The need for aerodynamic efficiency and cost effective production demands A-class external surfaces. Some of the technical solutions implemented included the application of novel rubber interleaved laminates for impact protection, graphene enhanced resin systems for toughness and a carbon composite leaf spring interfaced to a 3D printed titanium suspension system. All that and it has to “feel” right. Inspiring confidence in the equipment to enable an athlete to perform.


Validation Methods for Highly Optimised ShapeTex Structures

Glen Pascoe, SHAPE

Positioning reinforcement fibres with high accuracy and few geometrical constraints, results in composite parts that are optimised for strength, stiffness and manufacturing efficiency. Combining these principles into a single preform using a thermoplastic matrix has opened new opportunities for composites within the sporting goods industry and beyond. Under the ShapeTex™ brand, the team at SHAPE have developed an automatable method of manufacturing carbon composite components for: • Athletic Footwear • Track cycling • Kayak paddles • Surfboard fins


Break and Exhibits


SAMBA Dances for Sports Composites – Flexible Automation for CFRP Manufacturers

Christian Fleischfresser, Cevotec

Composites have been used extensively in sports equipment for several years, though the use of more expensive materials, such as carbon fibre, has been restricted to premium segments. While fibre producers have steadily brought the raw material costs down, production techniques continue to rely heavily on manual layup to produce the complex forms ubiquitous in sports equipment. This technique requires long training lead times, has elevated scrap rates, variable quality, long production times and high labour costs – characteristics which do not align with the requirements of the sports industry. Manufacturers call for repeatability, the flexibility to cope with different part variants and designs, fast innovation cycles, great looking parts and low costs. This is exactly what Cevotec has set out to deliver. Cevotec’s Fibre Patch Placement technology allows manufacturers to create complex 3D preforms, fully automated, removing cumbersome steps in the process, such as cutting, kitting and manual layup. By placing unidirectional fibre patches on a 3D tool in precise positions and orientations with the help of robotics, Cevotec’s SAMBA production systems create repeatable fibre preforms in record time. Parts are designed with Cevotec’s own ARTIST STUDIO CAD/CAM software, allowing engineers to import CAD geometry in the morning and have the first prototype produced in the afternoon. Manufacturing a new part is as simple as changing the machine program and tool – in less than 10 minutes. Simply put, Cevotec’s Fibre Patch Placement technology offers manufacturers new, fully automated options to produce composite parts for sport applications at competitive economics.


Enabling Performance Improvements in Sporting Goods

Jon-Paul Griffiths, Oxford Advanced Surfaces

The continuing desire for performance improvements has led to a growing use of composite materials in an ever broader range of sporting goods; leading to new challenges in both design and production. How can do you make different materials work together in a laminate stack? The introduction of composites into the manufacture of skis has only been made possible by advances in surface treatments that allow the effective bonding of dissimilar materials. How can you cost effectively paint or lacquer your finished parts? For the painting and lacquering of everything from hockey sticks to bicycle frames, surfaces can now be prepared without the risk of damage, without the health and safety issues such as dust, and in considerable faster time; increasing production through-put, reducing costs and improving product quality. The use of advanced surface treatments can resolve these issues and Oxford Advanced Surfaces can show you how.


Up the Creek with an Awesome Paddle

Stu Morris, VE Paddles


Lunch and Exhibits


Manufacturing Technology and the Benefits of Composite Ski Poles

Kathryn Crouchen, ZEEK Group

The days of aluminium ski poles should be long gone by now surpassed by carbon fibre being the stronger and lighter material so why do 95% of skiers still use aluminium. Well many people consider ski poles to be just an accessory, an afterthought, and thus spend little time and little money on them. But what if the correct ski poles could be the difference between having a good day on the slopes and having an incredible day on the slopes? How about achieving Silver or Gold in the freestyle moguls? At ZEEK we feel we have made the ultimate ski pole, strong, feather light, aerodynamic and all with perfect balance, not to mention stylish to top it off. Skiers need to ditch those old the aluminium poles and be converted to ZEEK and feel the difference - you will never go back. We present the manufacturing technology and the many benefits ZEEK poles bring to the sport.


Q&A Session