Friday, November 27, 2009

[ Technical Textiles - Australian V8 Supercars test Innegra Fiber.]

5 October 2009, Sydney - Australian speciality fabrics manufacturer Colan is working with V8 supercar teams to test the use of a revolutionary new lightweight fibre for the Australian championship following its successful use in Formula One cars. The new fibre, Innegra, is used in a high performance yarn that, when combined with carbon fibre, can improve the toughness of the cars while decreasing their weight.
"This is on back of the Innegra’s use by the new Brawn GPs Formula One team, which has won seven Grand Prix in this season and after the Singapore race this weekend is 42.5 points ahead in the championship. But at the moment the names of the V8 teams are under wraps while they carry out the tests,” said Genelle Coghlan, CEO of specialist fabric producer Colan.
The fibre, developed by US company Innegrity, won strong praise from the Brawn GP management executives. “When Innegra composite is damaged there is a tendency to tear and pull out fibres from the matrix rather than form sharp debris” says Gary Savage, Brawn GP Operations Director. When cars collide this reduces the amount of debris that splinters off, reducing the possibility of tyre damage and further crashes. Because Innegra also helps to better maintain the integrity of parts, the damaged cars may not have to pit immediately to make replacements, saving precious seconds in the race.
Ross Brawn, Team Principal at Brawn GP, said he was pleased with the performance of Innerga in his team’s cars. ”Strength, durability and reliability are all crucial for every single component on a Formula One car and Innegrity’s product more than meets our expectations. We look forward to continuing the good work this season," Mr Brawn said.
Colan CEO Genelle Coghlan says that while her company is working closely with Innegrity in the practical development of the fibre, it is in early trial stages for the as-yet unnamed V8 super car teams. “As a specialist fabric producer I am proud to be a part of development of this fibre and its innovative applications, both internationally and in Australia," said Genelle.
"As it is a tough, flexible and easily woven fabric that it is lighter than glass, aramid and carbon, Innegra has the potential for a lot of innovative applications, particularly in sporting goods.
"Colan will launch Innegra into the Australian market in the coming months, although already we are currently in talks with Australian surfboard shapers and other watercraft makers about some of its possible uses outside the automotive industry."
Innegra is a high performance fabric for use in ballistic, composite and rope applications. The fibre delivers light weight and toughness at a competitive cost compared to other high performance fibres, and has been used in combination with carbon, aramid and polyethylene fibres. Innegra fibre is being tested in a range of sporting goods applications from surfboards, tennis racquets, bicycle frames, baseball bats, kayaks, canoes and more.
Colan Australia uses world-quality raw materials, established international technologies and Australian innovation to deliver high quality engineered textiles and is the only manufacturer and exporter of fiberglass and aramid fabrics in Australia and New Zealand. It has also recently secured exclusive rights to weave Innegra for the Australian market.
A family business based in western Sydney, Colan was formed 55 years ago as a maker of television cabinets and has continued to grow and adapt to the changing market. Through weaving fabric to cover the speaker covers, the business evolved into a manufacturer of industrial textiles for composite reinforcement, thermal and insulation and safety and protective apparel and is one of the last technical textile manufacturers still operating in Australia.


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