Since launching SealX in March, 3A Composites have already finished the development of most AIREX T90 and T92 product lines. Several other composite products including wind turbine rotor blades have been built using the sealed foam. According to Anderson, marine and infrastructure are also current target areas in production and many other projects are in the pipeline.
“Compared to the general market landscape, which shows a range of products set somewhat on an optimal cost-performance line, the new AIREX T92 SealX has improved properties at lower total cost,” says Angst. “We expect that over time this product will result in a change in the marketplace in favor of PET core materials.”
AIREX SealX in Action
The new technology was recently demonstrated by 3A Composites customer Pauger Yachts. In early July 2012, AIREX T92 SealX was used to reduce the weight of its winning Balaton Blue Ribbon Regatta 50-foot catamaran. The carbon fiber and epoxy sandwich composite hull infused with AIREX T92 SealX technology helped the team reduce the weight of the boat and complete the course in record-breaking time.
“The sealing effect that we apply to the sheet’s surfaces effectively limits the resin ingress on the surfaces. The properties of the foam itself are unchanged,” says Angst. Depending on the thickness, the total cost saving of the core material and surface resin can be in the range of 10 to 20 percent.