North Thin Ply carbon fiber featured in Nadal watch

North Thin Ply worked with watchmaker Richard Mille to develop a quartz-based prepreg material for the RM 27-02 Rafael Nadal watch, designed to withstand high temperatures and impact.

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North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT, Penthalaz-Cossonay, Switzerland) reports that it is the supplier of composite materials used in the new Richard Mille RM 27-02 Rafael Nadal watch. When the Spanish tennis player started his campaign to win a record 10th Roland Garros title, he was wearing the new watch of which the ultralight and unbreakable case has been made of Thin Ply Technology carbon and quartz prepreg materials.

Engineers from NTPT and Richard Mille developed an original prepreg and laminate material known as TPT Quartz, composed of hundreds of layers of quartz filaments sequenced on top of each other. Quartz fibres are exceptionally resistant to high temperatures and are characterized by extreme strength and transparency to electromagnetic waves. To match these high technical specifications, NTPT developed a unique white, UV-resistant matrix resin material.

For the Richard Mille RM 27-02 Rafael Nadal watch, NTPT started by producing rolls of UD prepreg tapes of carbon and quartz. These UD Tapes were then transformed into preforms with the assistance of NTPT’s automated tape layer (ATL) machine. The TPT Carbon and TPT Quartz preforms were then carefully stacked to create a black and white block, and finally machined by Richard Mille to create the parts for the watch. The bezel and solid case back in TPT Carbon/TPT Quartz are attached to the unibody baseplate — a complex part that has been machined from a separate 100 TPT Carbon block.

Working on the Richard Mille RM 27-02 Rafael Nadal, NTPT says it has developed unique know-how in processing quartz fibers and is now able to offer a range of prepreg materials from UD tapes of 50 gsm through to multi-axial preforms. The preforms of TPT Quartz can be applied in many other sectors, for example for aerospace, telecom and defense applications.