Gowen Ocean Sails


Gowen Ocean Sails Ltd and materials testing machine manufacturer Lloyd Instruments have collaborated on the testing of webbings used in high load areas of sails that are manufactured for very large ocean going yachts. Tests were carried out using the LR100KPlus twin column materials testing machine. Definitive information on the durability and strength of the webbings is essential to ensure that the webbing attachment points fitted to a sail are of an appropriate size and weight to withstand the loads experienced. 

The yachts are equipped with sophisticated hydraulic/electric handling systems, which impose high loads. This means that the webbing attachment points must be absolutely fail-safe. These attachment points are made from the polymers Dyneema and polyester because of their weight and resistance to stretch. Dyneema is 15 times stronger than steel. 

The floor-standing LR100KPlus materials testing machine is ideally suited for performing complex as well as routine testing applications up to 100 kN (22481 lbf). It features a twin column design with a crosshead travel range of 1150 mm (45.3 in). The crosshead is driven by twin lead screws and a high precision servo motor and DC servo system to achieve a wide range of speeds. The high stiffness frame incorporates a crosshead guidance system to prevent side loading of the sample under test. Load measurement accuracy is to within 0.5% of the reading. Pull-to-break tests were conducted on the webbing attachment points. 

The accuracy of the measurements made by the LR100KPlus has helped Gowen Ocean Sails in their design and testing phase to ensure the utmost confidence that the sails will be fully compatible with the demands of the handling systems used to control them.