EPEX Technology

Perfect Sails for Perfect Sailing

The art of manufacturing a perfect sail is dependent on three criteria. Design, material and processing. Every sail is designed in house at Elvstrøm Sails with the aid of cutting edge sail design software. However, transformation of all the details into the real world is a critical task. Thanks to EPEX technology, realisation of design specifications is optimised because deviations in processing and materials can almost completely be eliminated.

The result is a sail which meets individual requirements to the full.

Perfect Materials for Perfect Sails

After many years of development Elvstrøm Sails have succeeded in perfecting the production process of high quality membranes for sails. All the equipment needed for the positioning of the high performance fibres and for activation of the special resins and glues is affixed to the huge vacuum table. The heart of the device is the vacuum bed which optimally and durably cross-links, under great pressure, the individual layers of the composite membrane sail during the EPEX lamination process.

This is a global first. EPEX sail membranes are held in position over the whole surface during the entire process by means of a vacuum. In this way a 100% homogenous sail-laminate is produced. The result is a high performance membrane with previously unknown characteristics - EPEX.

The Elements under Control

Activation and hardening are one compact, controlled process.

Vacuum

The EPEX process keeps the sail exactly in position by means of a vacuum. Computer-controlled machines position complex rows of fibres with microscopic precision. Track for track, layer for layer. All this occurs within tight restrictions on tolerances which allows for the concentration of all of the necessary rows of fibres directly at the point of major load. Additional reinforcement is, to a large extent, not required.

Bonding

The quality of the lamination is crucial for the characteristics and life of a saillaminate. In contrast to lamination processes up to now,
in the EPEX process glue is only used where necessary - on the contact surfaces of the materials. The result is a homogenous structure at an atomic level - this is more of a cross-linking than a gluing.

Heat

The composite is laminated by using controlled heat. Ultra short infrared rays permeate the membrane evenly. The vacuum process developed by Elvstrøm Sails prevents shrinkage of fibres and substrates. The reward is the exceptional shape stability of all EPEX membrane sails.

Pressure

In contrast to other membrane sails, EPEX sails are laminated and hardened in a vacuum. Only in this way is it possible to reach constant high compression from beginning activation until the highest degree of bonding at the end of the process. All the fibres are optimally assembled between the surrounding surfaces and durably cross-linked with the neighbouring filaments of the EPEX composite.

EPEX Vacuum

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