> Hello all,
> This is one of those questions that I've had rolling around in my head
> for the last couple of weeks. I've heard and seen the effects of the sun
> on monofilm, and I'm sure that the sun will also affect a board in some
> way after years of exposure, but what is the affect on a carbon mast?
SOme years ago, when 60% carbon content was the high end of the market,
there were some reports and warnings of carbon masts failing when
exposed to sunlight too much. Haven't heard too much about that lately,
but this could be because people don't let their gear toast in the sun
too much anymore.
In general, masts are at a risk:
+ The sun may heat up the (black) mast to temperatures well above the
design limits of the epoxy used to manufacture it. ALthough the resin
may need temps in excess of 100 C to cure / temper, the maximal
temperature at which the resin remains stiff and can keep the fabric
together may be well under 100 C , more like 70 - 80 C. These
temperatures can be easily reached when leaving a black mast in the sun.
So i'd generlly store rigs in the shade / keep them covered and would
cool down a mast (dip it into the water) before rigging or loading it. A
quick pump of a rig which had been sitting in the sun for a few hours to
see wether the trim is still ok could mean disaster...
+ Epoxy generally is not 100% UV stable but degrades with longer UV
exposure. Masts are made from epoxy and are often not protected by
UV-proof paint. Probabely carbon fabric also does not get stronger when
exposed to UV light, Kevlar definitely gets damaged over time.