CARBON BOOMS TECH
The builder makes his own Carbon Prepreg
The milestone of the Cafrosboom affair is its very own carbon fiber prepreg material. Starting with never-twisted carbon roving, the builder fabricates a variety of strictly unidirectional epoxy impregnated cloths to specs that best suit his manufacturing plan and quality standards. The entire production line has been designed, built and validated by the builder to assure tightly toleranced resin contents and zero disruption of fiber alignment within the fabric. These two characteristics are instrumental to the success of any demanding carbon composites manufacturing plan. At Cafrosboom, they define the foundation on which strong, long lasting and resilient windsurfing booms are built.
Which CARBON in Cafrosboom windsurf booms ?
Cafrosboom uses solely PAN High Strength (HS) carbon fiber of a modulus value that resides in the threshold between normal and Intermediate Modulus (IM). The builder's disposition is that a well designed and implemented manufacturing plan, coupled with good manufacturing practices, deems the use of the expensive High Modulus (HM) carbon obsolete in the making of a commodity item, such as a windsurfing boom. It is not uncommon that a top material is abused in the making of a product that does not honor the price tag. The industry that caters to the material needs of windsurfing is no exception to such occurrences.
Unidirectional instead of woven
One will never find the distinct fancy looking carbon weave on/in our windsurfing booms. What is to be found, instead, is unidirectional carbon fiber (UD) consolidated under an orientation schedule that has been validated through extensive destructive testing. Laying the carbon layers is a tedious process which merits the boom structure with location specific mechanical properties and a multistage failure pattern i.e. forewarning before complete breakage.
Why NOT Carbon WOVENS?
Woven carbon cloth is not used by Cafrosboom because, by default, such material cannot reach the low levels of resin content and the direction specific stiffness/strength of UD carbon composites. Less resin means less energy absorption and less fatigue from cyclic loading. Better control of directional specificity means lower weight and better responsivess.
What's the catch with UD carbon?
The downside of UD carbon prepreg is the meticulousness required to apply it properly. It is easily disrupted while handling and its compliance to 3D geometry is a non obvious challenge. However, the unsurpassed superiority of its end properties, over wovens, makes it worth finding ways to tackle its tricky nature.