The development of new materials plays just as important a role in paragliding as it does in aerospace.
In recent years, light, high performance weaves have enabled the manufacture of ultra-compact, feather-light designs.
The number one enemy of every material is the intense sunshine that every glider is exposed to in its lifetime. Until recently, products made from lightweight material have had a limited lifecycle. After just a short time, the material loses its stiffness and the porosity increases. Only an adequate UV protection can slow the aging of the material. This is done with normal materials via a PU or silicon coating. However, AEROOIX and skywalk took a completely different approach during the 20-month development period of the AEROFABRIX [AL]29, for which a patent has been applied. The fusion of lightweight, high performance material with a metallic coating opens up new horizons in paraglider construction. Metallic coatings don't absorb harmful UV rays - they block and reflect them.
The rays don't even make it into the material. Material coated in this way gets its silvery shine from the addition of aluminum. Innovative methods for the treatment and a careful structuring of the metal coating are the keys to the durability of metallic-coated material. A wafer-thin metallic coating on AEROFABRIX [AL]29 is sufficient to reflect more than 90% of UV rays. The material with the metallic shiny surface and a weight of just 29 g/m² boasts aging values substantially higher than conventional ultralight materials. For the new POISON3 and ARRIBA2, we used less PU coating for a higher abrasion resistance. As a result, we made the impossible possible.
The fusion of lightweight, high performance material with a metallic coating opens up new horizons in paraglider construction.
Manfred Kistler, Development
The advantages of lightweight construction in paraglider design include:
- Better controllability
- Increased safety due to lower mass
- Improved launch characteristics
- Smaller pack volume
- Lower weight
For us it is important that we can guarantee all of these advantages, so that a glider maintains its quality for many years.
Plasma treatments and optimized pre-coating enure a perfect surface of the aerofabríx[AL]29