ACG carbon fiber used in Ericsson race boats

Advanced Composites Group’s carbon fiber reinforces Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4 racing yachts, which will participate in the Volvo Ocean Race in October 2008.

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Advanced Composites Group Ltd. (ACG, Heanor, U.K.) on June 27 announced that its material is part of the Ericsson Racing Team's newest boat, designed to compete in the 2008/9 Volvo Ocean Race. The second race boat, Ericsson 4, which uses a range of ACG's advanced carbon fiber products, was officially unveiled at the team's boatyard in Kista, Stockholm.

Ericsson Racing Team created a bespoke boat yard next to Ericsson's global head office to build the two new boats, Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4, both of which were built using ACG's VTM 264, an intermediate viscosity epoxy resin matrix prepreg, and its associated VTA 260 film adhesive. The launch event marked the culmination of the build program for Ericsson 4.

International crew skipper, Torben Grael and Nordic crew skipper, Anders Lewander, were present to see the final handover of the boat from the build team. Grael commented: "This marks the true start of race mode for the international crew's campaign for the 2008/9 Volvo Ocean Race and we are really excited about getting out and sailing the boat in early July. We have got a great crew and good team, and we now have the boat. Killian [Bushe] and his team here in Kista have done a fantastic job . . . and for me this will be, I hope, the perfect boat."

The build of the boats, which were designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian, was managed by Killian Bushe. The two boats were built in just 15 months in the purpose-built 2,600m 2 (28,000-ft 2 ) facility. For each build, 40,000 man hours were used to apply 3 metric tonnes (6,613 lb) of ACG carbon fiber materials and 250 kg/550 lb of Nomex honeycomb in its sandwich structure. Each hull took 110 hours to cure. Ericsson 4's sea trials commence in early July with boat testing commencing off the coast at Nynäshamn in mid-July, after which Ericsson 3 and 4 will set sail for its training base at Lanzarote.