DSM Composites Resins AG (Schaffhausen, Switzerland) reported on June 7 that it has been working with the Dutch Olympic Team, applying DSM's material expertise in order to make the best rowing boat possible for the London Olympics 2012. To achieve this, DSM turned to TeXtreme Spread Tow Fabrics from Oxeon (Boras, Sweden) as the choice of carbon reinforcement. The result is a faster boat as a direct consequence of reduced weight and increased stiffness.
Edwin Hendriks, project manager Building, Infrastructure and Sport at DSM, comments: "To improve the performance of the Dutch Olympic rowing boat, we used TeXtreme carbon fabric in combination with DSM’s styrene-free Turane urethane resins. The interaction between these two is exceptionally strong. This resulted in an increased rigidity (25 percent more stiffness) and a lower weight of the boat, allowing for a different construction that increased the stiffness even more. The new boat deforms less in the water at every powerful stroke of the rowers, and as such can better maintain its speed."
In the months leading up to London 2012, DSM applied its expertise in materials on improving the boats for the Dutch rowing teams. DSM cooperated with the Dutch Rowing Federation and the Olympic Team Netherlands in developing this special eight man rowing boat “Olympic eight.”
Building on its experience from previous Olympic innovations such as the 470-class sailing boat for Beijing 2008, DSM partnered with German boat builder Empacher. Using DSMs Turane resins, one goal was to improve the stiffness of the boat, making it better equipped to handle the rigors of a race. The increased stiffness reduces the amount of energy that gets lost due to deformation of the hull, a common issue in the sport as the boats are not fully capable of withstanding the enormous amount of force exerted by the crew during each stroke. Reducing the deformation of the hull means that the crew can better build up and maintain speed.