Carbon Rigging Q & A – Navtec

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Next in line to answer the 10 questions we posed to all major carbon rigging manufacturers is Navtec. Launched last year at Mets, in Amsterdam, their Thermo Fused Carbon Rigging (TFC) product represents the latest development in Navtec’s 40 year history of building and designing rigging systems.

Rigging News: What is your carbon rigging product called?
Navtec: Navtec Thermo Fused Carbon Rigging (Navtec TFC)

RN: What are its applications?

Navtec: Headstays, Backstays, discontinuous lateral rigging with continuous spreader bends

RN: Where do you produce your rigging?

Navtec: Guilford, CT, USA

RN: What is the construction method?
Navtec: We start with a bundle of high end aerospace grade carbon/ thermoplastic strands evenly loaded. Then using a proprietary process developed in house we fuse the strands over a short distance at the ends into a solid bar. Once a solid bar is created at each end of the cable we use another proprietary and patent applied for process to form a head onto the end of the solid bar. The head is formed using the existing carbon thermoplastic material in the solid bar reformed into a proprietary geometry.

RN: What are the benefits of that method?

Navtec: It allows for a flexible cable in the mid span that can be coiled into 3-5ft loop depending on sizes and easily shipped around the world, avoiding difficult and complicated “on-site” curing or other processing.

Using the thermoplastic material we are able to consolidate the multi-strand mid span bundle material down to a small diameter bar in the ends which allows the TFC product to have small terminations reducing weight and windage.

The high end aerospace grade thermoplastic used as the matrix material to support the carbon is a major advantage. The ability of material to be formed and then reformed opens up new options to building composite rigging. The challenge is that it has to be processed at very high temperatures (over twice other composites) using precision machined steel tooling. This processing is what we have been developing for the past two years.  In addition to the current product we are supplying, we have identified many more patent pending processes that we will continue to develop into additional innovative products in the near future.

RN: How long does it last in a lateral rigging capacity?

Navtec: We have found that the carbon rigging sized based on stretch does not have a life span limited by a fatigue limit of the cable. It is currently the titanium sockets which terminate the cable that limit the lifespan of the cable. This can be optimized depending on application but our standard sockets will be rated for 10 yrs or 100,000 miles. We still recommend regular checks of rigging to look for chafe, overloading or other issues.

RN: Your biggest boat?

Navtec: Currently a 70 ft boat using -91 size V1’s. This is currently the largest size developed to date but sizes over -320 are under development.

RN: Your Smallest Boat?

Navtec: 42 ft boat.

RN: Which boat stands out from the crowd / most memorable one and why?
Navtec: Cannonball, Swan 68, as this project was our first full carbon rig.

RN: Any additional info you would like to share?

Navtec: The Navtec TFC is the latest carbon rigging to be introduced into the market place and although it is a new comer it has been put through the extensive testing which is the Navtec standard. This extensive testing is developed from the lessons learned in building rigging for 40 years. Our in house testing capacity allows us to test the TFC rigging in an extensive list of tests simulating many years of sailing and sea miles in all conditions. We also partner with outside testing houses to test full length cables verifying short cable testing. It is through this testing process that we are now able to bring the TFC rigging product to market and we will continue to develop it.

Download the Navtec TFC flyer here.

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