Hyde Sails has announced the launch of its new Hyde Membrane System (H-ms), a new product that takes membrane sails to the next level.
The Hyde Membrane System only uses fibre reinforcement where it is required and not where it isn't! This keeps weight to an absolute minimum without compromising the performance and durability of the sail.
Because weight has been kept to a minimum, it also means that some or all of the weight savings made where reinforcement is not needed can be used to add extra reinforcement to the high-load path areas of the sail.
With systems that shape first and cure later, precise shape reproduction, especially in smaller sails, is almost impossible. However, H-ms one-design laminates are fully cured prior to shaping ensuring accurate reproduction of the computer generated mould shape.
The fibre reinforcement added to the membrane is also a continuous directional filament, which accurately follows the load path lines of the sail. Zero-crimped yarns are a must to ensure consistent translation of the design. The fibres On Hyde's Membrane System go down into the laminate structure flat and do not wobble along the fibre pass direction as they do with some laminate systems.
As with conventional sails, different usages require different materials, and with membrane sails the right mix of membrane and fibre reinforcement can be adjusted depending on the sail's requirements and usage, from Carbon Technora, through to Aramid fibres and taffeta reinforcement - it really depends what your priorities are regarding weight and longevity.
|H-ms Race (H-ms-R)||Twaron/Tecnora with Double Taffata|
|H-ms Race (H-ms-R)||Twaron/Tecnora with Single Taffata|
|H-ms GP (H-ms-GP)||Twaron/Tecnora/Carbon Film/Film|
|H-ms Race 40'' sail wardrobe in Twaron||Main, #1,#2 Single Taffata and #3 Double Taffata|
|H-ms GP 40' sail wardrobe in Tecnora/Carbon||Main, #1,#2 all Film/Film and the #3 Single Taffata|
Carbon Technora gives the lowest stretch and lightest weight laminate available. Combined with very close spacing and small denier fibre gives a much better yarn cover then other systems.
The yarn passes for the grand prix rang are numerous covering all angles and whilst this increase in "yarn passes" adds cost and complexity, it makes smoother faster longer lasting laminates.
Whilst we would recommend Carbon to be blended with Technora it can also be mixed with other Aramids such as yellow Twaron or black Twaron. Whilst Twaron offers better initial modulus compared to Technora its not as good on flex cycling or UV light resistance. When mixed with Carbon the secondary fibre tend to act as a back up so its absolute modulus is not as important as when it's used alone. Technora has proven to add life to the overall laminate structure compared to other secondary fibres when mixed with Carbon.
For 100% Aramid we offer all the benefits as stated above for the Grand Prix racing range whilst using either black or yellow Twaron. Black is available in fewer denier formats so may not always be applicable.
Taffeta is also available on Grand prix sails – taffeta simply adds life to the laminate by reducing the effect of shrinkage and flogging damage. It will also add weight and cost without adding absolute performance.
Hyde recommends external taffeta as internal taffeta can allow water into the laminate structure affecting the bond integrity.
Films and taffeta are pre coated with resins to ensure highly consistent bonding in the laminate structure.
The off load path reinforcement sometimes referred to by sailmakers when discussing membrane sails as "scrim", are the yarn passes that connect the luff and leech.
Some membranes contain a superfluous fine polyester carrier scrim – this carries the heavier often Aramid scrim on a conventional roll of sail cloth. H-ms sails do not use pre made scrims. H-ms scrims are placed on the laminate during the fibre laying process and thus have many combinations of yarn, spacing and angle available. Also there are no carrier strings, which add weight and stiffness with no benefit in performance.
For club race the specification is simplified to reduce manufacturing time and cost. A bigger yarn is used with fewer fibre passes. Although the same total fibre content is achieved as in the Grand Prix system, it's achieved with fewer fibre passes over the laminate.
Club spec is available with taffeta or double taffeta.
Depending on class rules, membrane laminates are becoming more commonplace in small keelboat and dinghy classes.
The problem for smaller sails is that some membrane systems have been developed for much bigger sails, so gapping and yarn denier sizes are way too big to make a sensible light-weight sail.
Other issues surround the fine detail needed for smaller sails. When doing development on smaller sails some changes are as small as half a millimetre – even for conventional sailmaking such delicate detail changes are hard to translate to the finished sail. So with systems that shape first and cure later - shape reproduction is almost impossible.
H-ms one design laminates are fully cured prior to shaping ensuring accurate reproduction of the computer generated mould shape.
For most one design membrane sails a small denier Technora fibre is used – this allows many more passes over the laminate than the more widely used larger yarns, so we achieve the same or lower weight with a much better fibre cover. Many small sails end up heavy and stiff as there is a minimum number of passes needed to get a sensible laminate.
Don't look too closely at some membranes! The fibres are big fat and wobbly. Straight yarns are a must to ensure consistent translation of the design. The fibres must go down into the laminate structure flat and not wobble along the fibre pass direction. Take a close look at H-ms sails – the yarns don't wobble and lay flat.
For Voyager the emphasis is on sail life rather than ultimate speed performance. The correct choice of fibre film and taffeta is vital.
Polyester Vectran and Dyneema are the best fibres to achieve performance and longevity.
The ultimate Voyager sail utilises Dyneema sandwiched inside two sides of taffeta. The fibre layout is similar to racing Grand prix spec as this handles the loads in most efficient way.
Polyester offers the best cost compromise and when combined with taffeta offers significant performance advantage over woven Dacron (polyester) or other off roll laminates. The custom fibre layout and scrim pass will reduce stretch over similar weight off roll sail cloths and gives a much smoother sail.
Hyde Sails Limited reserve the right to change these specifications in line with our policy of continuous improvement.
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