In 2022, Sykes Rowing will be moving to pre-preg manufacturing. Following on from the acquisition of Resolute Rowing, and our stated strategy to transfer superior technology and know-how from Resolute into the Sykes business, we are pleased to advise that towards the end of the second quarter of 2022 we will begin to manufacture boats using pre-impregnated (‘pre-preg’) fabrics.
The Victorian State Government has provided us with some financial support under the Technology Adoption and Innovation program (TAIP) for which we are extremely grateful. Like us, they believe it is important to invest in advanced manufacturing in our state and country and we have used this support to supplement our investment in a high temperature curing oven. This oven will be fully commissioned at the end of March 2022 and when operational will enable us to enhance both our traditional wet layup and the advanced pre-preg processes to manufacture a comprehensive range of Resolute and Sykes boats.
Benefits of pre-preg manufacturing
There are many significant technical improvements that the capability of the new high temperature curing oven will deliver for us and our loyal Australian customers. The substantial mechanical improvements that will be achieved include increasing the strength, longitudinal and torsional stiffness, durability and overall performance of our already successful Sykes Rowing hulls. It will also enable us to produce the next generation Resolute hulls in Geelong. The above mentioned benefits apply to both wet layup (Sykes boats, albeit not quite as good as pre-preg) and pre-preg layup (Resolute) production methods.
Using pre-impregnated composite materials (carbon, kevlar and glass fibre) will allow us to increase our fibre:resin content from 43% to approximately 60%. This is how the improvements in mechanical properties are achieved. Additionally, the consistency of resin across the laminate is far superior in pre-preg which makes for a far more consistent laminate with less voids and variability in resin penetration. This is indeed a further step in our journey to advanced manufacturing and our new boats will definitely be stronger, stiffer and more consistent throughout.
There are other significant benefits using pre-preg manufacturing including, but not limited to:
- improved Occupational Health and Safety for our staff in the factory – no exposure to resins and significantly reduced use of solvents for cleaning
- increased sustainability with less waste to landfill and substantially improved material yields.
All of these benefits are perfectly aligned with our strategic direction to be the global number 1 builder of rowing shells and lead the industry in terms of sustainability and just doing the right thing for our planet!
Find out more
Contact one of our sales team to find out more about our move to pre-preg manufacturing in 2022:
- George: 0413 077 041, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alex: 0421 811 880, email@example.com
- Angus: 0432 381 708, firstname.lastname@example.org