40207_49 - COMPOSITES IN THE SPORTING GOODS INDUSTRY Brian...

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COMPOSITES IN THE SPORTING GOODS INDUSTRY 49 Brian E. Spencer 49.1 INTRODUCTION went into sport and recreation applications. In 1990 Frost & Sullivan reported that over $800 million dollars were spent by domestic defense/aerospace contractors for advanced composites. In the same period, $70 million worth of advanced composites were purchased from domestic producers for sporting goods. Advanced composites are usually defined as those composites that use either carbon, aramid, Sglass, ceramic, polyethylene, boron, or other high strength or high stiffness fiber. In 1991, the total worldwide consumption of advanced fibers was estimated to be 27200 metric tons1. Approximately 10% of this fiber Worldwide sport and recreation applications are the third largest user of advanced compos- ites behind defense/aerospace and elastomer reinforcement (tires, hose and belts)'. In the USA as well, sport and recreation applications are the third largest users of advanced compos- ites. One of the major growth markets for advanced composites over the past several years has been the sporting goods industry. Although there was a total decline in USA defense spending of only 14% from 1990 to 1994, the procurement decline was 45%' (Fig. 49.1). The defense procurement decline was 300 ", 250 Manpower, R&D ln c logistics, other = 200 E 7 150 m 100 50 0 0 Procurement c (I) Fiscal year Fig. 49.1 Defense budget declines. (Courtesy of Westinghouse ESG news and department of defense budget.) Handbook of Composites. Edited by S.T. Peters. Published in 1998 by Chapman & Hall, London. ISBN 0 412 54020 7
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Introduction 1045 disastrous for the composites industry and resulted in severe upheavals. Although no seg- ment of the composites market could offset the defense-induced decline, the sporting goods/recreation composite segment along with most other segments is predicted to show positive growth in the near future3 (Table 49.1). This growth trend is expected to continue into the 21st century. Advances in materials and processes have reduced consumer prices for the recreational composite while providing improved performance for the athlete. Some of the first applications for compos- ites in sport and recreation were fiberglass boat hulls and fishing poles. Now the list of products using composites includes almost every sporting and recreation activity. Products in golf, tennis, and bicycle racing have brought attention to the superior perfor- mance of composites in sports and recreation. Hand lay-up and roll-wrapping have been the processes generally used for most sporting goods applications. There has been an increased interest in filament winding as a pre- ferred process for tubular products such as golf shafts, sail masts, ski poles, softball bats and bicycle frame tubing, because filament winding can lower labor costs and add a new level of design flexibility, product consistency, and quality for these products. 49.2 MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUES
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40207_49 - COMPOSITES IN THE SPORTING GOODS INDUSTRY Brian...

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