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Composites Evolution Showcase Biotex Flax Canoe

Composites Evolution will be displaying an all natural canoe built using Biotex Flax at the upcoming Composites Europe Show.

The canoe has been built by Flaxland, in the UK, and is made from 1 layer of Biotex Flax Hopsack weave and a UV cured bioresin (EcoComp UV-L resin), provided by Sustainable Composites. It is constructed using a marine plywood and European pine frame, that is covered using the Biotex material, then impregnated with the linseed based EcoCompUV-L resin.

Simon Cooper, owner of Flaxland, is a traditional boat builder with a strong interest in using all natural materials. “In recent years synthetic materials, such as coated polyester fabrics, have been used more and more in boatbuilding. In an attempt to return to traditional boatbuilding methods, I became interested in the use of Flax as a sustainable crop for the production of oil and fibre to make a boat. I wanted to find new, novel, but natural materials, and in my search found the Biotex website” he explained.

Flaxland trialled many flax fabrics and found that Biotex suited the needs of the project best. Owner, Simon Cooper felt that Biotex had good impregnation, wet out and very good tear strength which was equal to the synthetic materials allowing for a flexible yet strong canoe which could be been made without the use of a mould tool.

Flaxland have made a total of 7 prototypes so far, using both the Biotex Flax Hopsack and Biotex 3H Satin weaves. The Hopsack version offers a resilient and durable canoe which has a net weight of just less than 12Kg and the Satin version gives a lighter weight option, at just 8Kg, for racing.

The canoe is currently undergoing long term durability and water resistance tests and, according to Simon, has shown good results for over one year already. He is now looking to roll out the design to larger rowing boats.

Composites Evolution will be displaying the canoe on stand 4/A24 at the Composites Europe show in Stuttgart, 27th – 29th September 2011.

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