Advanced Composites Manufacturing Topics

7 03, 2016

Why We Pioneered Wing Riggers

By | 2016-03-08T00:07:36+00:00 March 7th, 2016|Categories: Composite Manufacturing, Racing Shells & Kayaks|Tags: , |0 Comments

We pioneered the wing rigger concept in 1984 when the minimum shell weight rule was imposed. We had to increase the weight of our boats by 20% and searched for a way to make out boats heavier without being slower.  The airfoil rigger more than compensated for the additional drag of the heavier boat and still allowed us to add more carbon fiber to the hull and make out boats the stiffest ones available. Now that we are all competing with a minimum boat weight the improved aerodynamics give our boats a 3 second advantage over 2000 meters.
Our wing riggers are interchangeable between every wing rigger boat we have ever made.  The wonderful thing is that the rower’s rigging dimensions are preserved even when putting a rigger from their single on a double, pair, or the eight we made for the 1988 Olympics.  This saves a lot of time and worry, gives rowers trying different boats a better experience, and better utilizes the fleet of boats in the club.
14 10, 2015

The Advantage of Autoclaves

By | 2015-10-14T21:06:32+00:00 October 14th, 2015|Categories: Composite Manufacturing, Racing Shells & Kayaks|Tags: |0 Comments

Since 1990, we are the only boat maker in the US to make carbon fiber products with an autoclave. Why is an autoclave an exceptionally good way to create racing shells, spars, aerospace and submarine parts? Because it is a pressure oven that not only bakes a vacuumed bag around the item, it creates pressure that removes every last bit of air from the Kevlar honey comb making the item incredibly strong, stiff and light weight. An autoclave assures there is no minute amount of air left in the product to create a weak spot; if there were, a boat may crack, a submarine part may break, an aerospace part may succumb to stress.

Composite manufacturing process

Van Dusen racing boats are manufactured using advanced composite materials and space-age manufacturing technology. Our autoclave curing process combines elevated temperatures and pressure which allows us to use more unidirectional carbon fiber and a high performance heat-cured epoxy. Our hull laminate is thus lighter and stronger than any other. In water bending tests, the Van Dusen Advantage racing shells flex much less than other boats tested when weight is added to the cockpit.