The sporting goods industry is highly competitive, with manufacturers constantly looking for ways to improve the performance, durability, and sustainability of their products. One recent manufacturing innovation is the introduction of thermoplastic composites to sporting goods components. Thermoplastic materials are transforming the way we design and manufacture equipment, offering a wide range of benefits for both athletes and the environment. In this article, we’ll explore how using thermoplastic composites can revolutionize the sporting goods industry.
The advantages of thermoplastic composite components for the sporting good industry
Thermoplastics are a type of polymer that soften when heated to high temperatures and solidify when cooled, making them incredibly useful and versatile for high-volume manufacturing. For years, high performance parts made from thermoplastics were prohibitively expensive to manufacture (especially to mass-produce), which is why sporting goods manufacturers relied primarily on traditional materials such as plastics and metallics for their components. Now, however, Re:Build Oribi Composites has developed an innovative automation process that allows us to mass-produce thermoplastic composite components at a price competitive with traditional materials. This advancement in materials and manufacturing now allow sporting goods companies to radically improve the performance of their products by implementing thermoplastic parts and components into their product designs.
There are many advantages of thermoplastic sporting good parts and components, including their lightweight nature, high strength-to-weight ratio, and exceptional durability–and all of these benefits make them especially well-suited to the sporting goods industry.
Specific advantages of thermoplastic sporting good components include:
- Enhanced performance: Thermoplastic components can be engineered to meet specific performance requirements. They offer exceptional stiffness and strength and are much lighter than traditional materials, providing athletes with superior responsiveness and control of their tennis rackets, ski boots, bicycle frames, etc.
- Durability: Sporting equipment often must withstand rigorous wear-and-tear and harsh environmental conditions. Thermoplastics are highly resistant to impact, abrasion, and UV radiation, meaning they can contribute to longer-lasting products and greater sustainability.
- Lightweight: For many athletes, every ounce matters. Thermoplastics are especially well-suited to sports like cycling or golf, where their lightweight nature can provide a significant competitive advantage and allow athletes reduced fatigue and increased maneuverability.
- Sustainability: Sustainability is a priority for many companies and customers. Thermoplastics are recyclable and can be re-molded with minimal waste, reducing the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process.
Applications of thermoplastic sporting goods
There are myriad applications of thermoplastic composites in the sporting goods industry. Some of the most popular are thermoplastic hockey sticks and thermoplastic lacrosse sticks–thermoplastics offer superior strength, lower weight, and shock absorption creating a more comfortable and consistent experience.
Thermoplastics can also be used in products ranging from kayak oars to bicycle components to tennis rackets, for similar reasons. The stiffness, weight, and durability of thermoplastics means your products will perform better and last longer.
Thermoplastics are also revolutionizing sporting goods protective wear such as helmets, since they offer enhanced impact protection without adding unnecessary weight.
The future of thermoplastic sporting goods components
With the recent manufacturing innovations from Re:Build Oribi Composites, thermoplastics are starting to make a serious impact in the sporting goods industry, and companies can expect to see even more innovative applications in the future.
For more information on how you can create a brighter, more sustainable future for athletes around the world, contact us today!