Syensqo Ixef PARA polymer shapes surfing fin by Kohola Flow Tech

Inspired by the natural, dynamic design of humpback whale flippers, Kohola’s FlowTech 1 Single Fin uses the high performance and aesthetics of 50% glass filled Ixef PARA from Syensqo. Source (All Images) | Kohola Flow Tech

Syensqo (Brussels, Belgium) announces that its Ixef polyarylamide (PARA) resin is being used by plastics company Drake Plastics (Cypress, Texas, U.S.) for molding the Kohola FlowTech 1 Single Fin, enhancing the flow control and efficient forward motion of surfboards to deliver longer and faster rides. The patented design behind Kohola’s fins mimics the flippers of humpback whales. The efficiency of the injection molding process helped to achieve a manufacturing waste reduction of up to 30% compared to conventional fins produced with other techniques

Partners selected Ixef PARA 1022, a 50% glass fiber-reinforced compound for the FlowTech 1 Single Fin. Syensqo’s fiber-reinforced polymer exhibits high strength and rigidity, optimal surface gloss and good creep resistance.

“We have provided a thermoplastic compound that helps Kohola bring a more sustainable solution to the surfing industry with no compromises in product performance, aesthetics or durability,” states Meghan Powers, global marketing manager for Syensqo’s Specialty Polymers business. “Unlike traditionally used subtractive manufacturing processes, using Ixef PARA 1022 enables our customers to improve material use efficiency as well as [address] waste and recycling challenges.”

According to David E. Shormann, founder of Kohola Flow Tech, the company’s longboard fins require a material that supports the dynamic maneuverability and minimized resistance enabled by the natural whale pattern design, which improves flow control by cutting through turbulences and reducing side-to-side wobbling for a more stable forward ride as well as safer, tighter turns. “Apart from offering the mechanical characteristics to meet those needs, extensive testing showed that Syensqo’s Ixef PARA also ensures the durability to handle marine conditions with extensive exposure to sun and saltwater,” Shormann says.

Fin in action.

Moreover, by replacing a phenolic thermoset material with Ixef PARA and taking full advantage of the injection molding process, Drake Plastics arrived at a high-performing high-end product with better resource efficiency and optimal finish straight from the mold, eliminating the time and cost for secondary trimming and polishing.

Following the success of the FlowTech 1 Single Fin, Kohola is also considering Ixef PARA for the company’s advanced FlowTech 3 Thruster Set. This new design will further maximize drive and stability through turns with controlled release for a combination of speed, power and flow when surfing. In addition, the patented fin design has potential in other markets where wing-like structures are used, from ceiling fans and aircraft to marine propellers.

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