Fully carbon hydraulic cylinders
Holmatro has introduced a range of carbon hydraulic rams, which unlike other offerings have no metal lining. This technique is the next big step in lightweight hydraulics, and offers sailors a professionally tested product enabling them to optimise the weight of their boat's rig.
Depending on their size, cylinders can be made 60% lighter than their equivalent in stainless steel, so, especially on larger yachts, weight savings can be substantial. Ultimately this will not only reduce total rig weight, but also makes the product a lot easier to install.
The cylinders have been field tested over millions of cycles. It can currently work at 450 bar, however the carbon cylinder itself is rated at a burst pressure of 1500 bar. This increase in the working pressure allowed potentially further weight optimisation.
Until now, carbon hydraulic cylinders have been constructed with a metal lining, and carbon fibre is wound around this thin-walled tube. Since both materials have different stretch and yield strengths, the combination is a compromise.
Working closely in cooperation with hydraulics specialist, Parker, the new Holmatro cylinders are constructed 100% in carbon, without any additional metal lining or reinforcement. The full range of hydraulic cylinders and vangs currently offered by Holmatro are now available in carbon.
Since 2008 several cylinders have been field tested and the results have proved beyond the expectations. This technique has already proven its maturity in several industrial applications, for products used in the most severe circumstances where maximum durability is required.