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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old August 1st, 2007, 02:59 PM   #1
j_nolesfan
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Question Carbon fiber differences among boots??

I'd be surprised if there is anyone who doesn't know that I'm looking for a new boot. I'm waiting on hearing back from Jennifer Simmons (get well soon!) before I make a final decision. While looking at different boots that use carbon for their last, I've noticed that some use a very fine/tight weave fabric and others use a very coarse type of fabric (think Pinnacle). I've always thought that the tighter the weave, the more flexible the fabric is before it's set and the stronger it is after it's set (set up with resin). I've done a few searches on the net and I haven't been able to find any good articles that talk about this subject specifically.

There are now engineered materials that are stronger and lighter than carbon. Nanotubes can be used to make up a carbon fiber type weave for one example. I wonder how long it will be before they become cheap enough to incorporate into skate boots? This part is merely for discussion. I'm not looking for a new "super boot".

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Old August 1st, 2007, 04:35 PM   #2
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Jeff,

The weave isn't as important as the RESIN used.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 04:39 PM   #3
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Personally, I like the look of the more tightly woven carbon fiber.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 04:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
The weave isn't as important as the RESIN used.
Yeah, from what I could gather, polyesther resin is junk and epoxy is the way to go.

Quote:
Personally, I like the look of the more tightly woven carbon fiber.
I like the look too but almost all boot makers use the tight fiber which makes the likes of Pinnacle more unique looking but it also makes me wonder which is better fabric for fabric.

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Old August 1st, 2007, 05:52 PM   #5
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The other thing is all boots, even custom, are not necessarily made of 100% carbon. Some use, what you might term a carbon composite, which means the carbon is mixed/layered with something else. Most use fiberglass.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 06:35 PM   #6
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and what about the so called "military grade" carbon fiber? Is there such a thing or just some boot makers claim? and if it exists... is it better than regular woven CF?
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Old August 1st, 2007, 07:50 PM   #7
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Here is a link with a brief explanation of some of the layup techniques and resins that are used.

There's one thing I'd like to point out about the silk glass product called Avio-fiber. I'd be willing to bet that it often gets mistaken for fiberglass. I remember a while back on the Bont board where some guy got into an argument with Alex about what materials were used in specific models of their boots. The guy was claiming that Bont used fiberglass in boots that they claimed had none. Alex said that there was something else in there but it's not glass and is of much higher quality than glass. Maybe this is it? Avio-fiber? Also, "carbon composite" isn't necessarily bad or low quality. In fact, carbon has to be made into some sort of composite for it to work, whether that's epoxy resin or whatever. The problem is (IMO) that too many companies abuse that word "composite" to allow them to put whatever else in their product and still pass it off as top quality.

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Old August 1st, 2007, 08:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_nolesfan View Post
The guy was claiming that Bont used fiberglass in boots that they claimed had none. Alex said that there was something else in there
I remember that. Good point Nole! I agree with you about the dubiousness of the word "composite" which to me, it just means that they are mixing stuff.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 08:21 PM   #9
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I remember that. Good point Nole! I agree with you about the dubiousness of the word "composite" which to me, it just means that they are mixing stuff.
I can think of a four letter word that starts with the same letter as "stuff" that often describes what they're mixing
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 03:21 AM   #10
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Even in Bont's line up of products, there is a difference with the materials. I am not sure what it is, but I got the Vaypor because it was better than the Apache, even though they both are "carbon".
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 09:20 AM   #11
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Default Carbon Fiber

There are definitely differences in the carbon weaves and you can see it reflected in the price of the carbon. The tighter weaves are about $3 per meter more expensive. They are the ones you will find in the new Boeing Dreamliner or Airbus A380. The thicker weaves are still very good but you wonít find them in the aircraft industry because they are not as strong as the tighter weaves.

There are 3 general types of resins that are used for boot making. All of them can be moulded with heat. Polyester is the cheapest, vynalester is in the middle and epoxy resin is the most expensive. The thing that really makes the boot heat moldable or not is the thermoplastic in between the layers of carbon. Some manufacturers will say that is not true because they donít use it. So it is up to you who you believe. A simple test is to heat mold a boot with thermoplastic and one without and you will quickly find out that a boot with no thermoplastic is very hard to mould indeed.

When a boot says it is made with epoxy resin, there are so many different chemicals that can be added to epoxy resin to make it stronger or weaker, you really have no way of telling if it is a good resin or not without skating on the boot on a hot day or trying to heat mold it. A poor epoxy will go soft in a hot race.

The link you mentioned Jeff is informative, but it seems they have a beef with some other manufacturers and they are trying to make a point. Making a skate and a motorbike panel is quite different so not everything they say is true for our application. An example of this is that polyester resins wonít go soft in a hot race but many epoxy resins will. If you want me to go over any points on that web page, Iím happy to do so.

On Racereports, yes someone was accusing us of using materials in our skates that were not really there. He pulled the boot apart pointing things out but he had no idea what material it was. We do get some of our own materials woven that we have developed over the years, but they are not black and do not look like carbon. We donít use anything called Avio-fiber. All our carbon comes from Toray in Japan who is the supplier to Boeing.

I agree with you that too many companies are doing dodgy things with the word carbon. I bought a pair of Nike carbon bike shoes the other day and on the outer single layer was a layer of silver fiberglass and under that was an injection molded plastic base. On out outside it was printed carbon fiber. Most of the top carbon bikes these days also use injection molded frames with 1 single layer of carbon on the outside.

With carbon running at between $35 and $45 per meter, it would be very hard to make an all carbon boot and retail it for $220 like the Bont Jet. Especially when you think of how much profit the retailer and distributor makes. 1 pair of boots takes about 1meter of carbon. In Bontís range, the more expensive the boot, the more carbon there is up to the Vaypor which is 100% carbon. I am quite forward with the materials inside Bont boots. If you have any questions in regards to materials, I am one of the few manufacturers who will actually answer customers questions.

One thing is certain thou. The carbon fiber industry is moving very fast indeed. There are all kinds of new ways to layup the carbon, new sandwich and molding techniques that will really change the way skates are made over the next couple of years.

alx
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 04:17 PM   #12
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Always good to hear your information Alex! BTW, how are the Swans doing? I got my $ on the Crows for next year!



This is one thing that really ticks me off... all the steps of people making money off the simple idea of skaters trying to get skating supplies. I wonder how much more accesible the sport would be if not so many people were trying to make a buck off getting the equipment and passing it on:
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when you think of how much profit the retailer and distributor makes.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 02:43 AM   #13
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Sydney is still in the top 8 but their form has been dismal of late. Being from Sydney, I prefer the NRL.

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Old August 3rd, 2007, 04:53 AM   #14
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Being from Sydney, I prefer the NRL.
yeah! I forgot you guys from "north of the border" got your rugby going!
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 05:21 AM   #15
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AHHHH

i had a whole long message typed upbut the site froze on me..

a quick recap of what i (had) written....

i use thicker, bigger weave carbon so that when the shell is made it has no cuts or folds inthe strands of carbon. cuts or folds naturally create a weak place. you CAN NOT use smaller weave and curve it around the foot without making at least a few cuts in it.

the RESIN i use also makes a big diffrence as it is a high quality epoxy resin that is formulated and mixed with acrylic (epox-acril) to create the strongest, lightest, and longlest lasting finished product.

i also take pride in knowing that NOT ONE of my shells has ever failed due to the normal use(even though its sometimes agressive use)
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 05:26 AM   #16
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Bont uses a tight weave carbon without making any cuts in the carbon.

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Old August 3rd, 2007, 05:35 AM   #17
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How does bont getit to curve around the ankle/heel area with no cuts?
small weave carbon dosen not stretch and bend very well
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 10:55 AM   #18
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We use very small folds. A fold increases strength where as a cut will decrease it.

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Old August 3rd, 2007, 01:20 PM   #19
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I need to grab my popcorn. This might get good.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 02:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
I need to grab my popcorn. This might get good.
Agreed! Should we invite all boot makers for a little seminar/symposium on boot making philosophy?

Don't get me wrong, I'm soaking this up like a sponge. This is the most education I've gotten on what makes a good boot in one place ever.
Jeff
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Last edited by j_nolesfan; August 3rd, 2007 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Clarification...
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