In professional sports the application of strong, lightweight materials can mean the difference between defeat and triumph.
Sail cloth for yacht racing is such an example and thanks to its experience in ballistic textile, Van Wees managed to develop a laminate based on these high-performance fibers that can meet the demanding conditions on the ocean waves. Analogous to the production of ballistics, the UHMWPE yarns – for instance Dyneema® – are spread to a UD of less than two filaments thickness and impregnated with a hotmelt adhesive that is compatible with polyolefins. The resulting “prepregs” with a tensile strength of 2 kN/50 mm and areal weight of only 60 g/m² can be sandwiched between HDPE films in the required numbers and orientations in order to create a sail cloth with an optimum strength to weight ratio. This “All-Polyolefin” sail cloth has already been demonstrated in a simple 0/90°-geometry which could be realized with a total areal weight of only 200 g/m².