Modified Outer Skin Protects Kayak
To better protect kayaks from exterior mechanical impact, Re-Turn AS, based in Gamle Fredrikstad, Norway, has modified an epoxy gelcoat (i.e. outer skin) with carbon nanotubes (grade: Baytubes, manufacturer: Bayer MaterialScience AG, Leverkusen, Germany). In a test series that started this summer, the outer skins of various kayak prototypes were reinforced. This is to make the boats more resilient to abrasion from a shingle beach or contact with the edge of a river bank, than conventional kayaks. In addition, the manufacturer claims that there are fewer cracks and less wear in the outer skin, in case of long-term usage.
The modified epoxy gelcoat also absorbs UV radiation, thus minimizing the bleaching and embrittling effects incurred. What is more, soiling above and below the water surface is reduced, and the kayak can be cleaned more easily. A cleaner outer skin means that the hull’s flow resistance is also lower.
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