Ice hockey has long been regarded as one of the fastest team sports in the world. The unbelievable dynamics and sheer speed on the ice wow fans the world over. The small disks made from hardened rubber can soar into the opponent's goal at a speed of 170 km/h. There are often only a few seconds between a missed shot at the goal on one side and an actual goal on the other side. ROHACELL® from Evonik is one of the products providing the power and stability required by ice hockey sticks.
Since the turn of the millennium, new materials such as carbon fiber and lightweight innovative cores have been used, resulting in a modern ice hockey game that is even quicker than it was when traditional wooden ice hockey sticks were the only option. Today's ice hockey sticks are considerably lighter, with properties that previously seemed impossible. The new generation of ice hockey sticks can flex much more on impact, which saves a considerable amount of energy when the blade comes into contact with the puck. The stick essentially works in a manner that is similar to a catapult and, when compared to earlier designs, more energy can be transferred to the puck in less time.
More control, less weight
The polymethacrylimide (PMI) foam is used as a structural core in the blade – the lower part of the stick used for hitting and directing the puck. Attacking, passing, defending: ice hockey sticks are put under a lot of pressure during a game. ROHACELL® is extremely stable, ensuring that the blade does not break and the player has unmatched puck control. The high durability and lack of material fatigue associated with this high-performance foam are additional valuable benefits. However, ice hockey players expect even more. They want sticks with a blade structure that doesn't change, even after many hits and that feels the same each time they touch the puck. In addition, the puck should remain under control after it has been shot and not bounce off the blade. ROHACELL® absorbs the impact energy, allowing players to quickly control the stick and increase the pace of the game.
Extremely tough composite
To produce the ice hockey sticks, carbon fiber soaked in epoxy resin is wrapped around the pre-formed rigid foam core. High temperatures are applied during the subsequent hardening of the resin, yet ROHACELL® remains stable and provides counter pressure. This molding technique binds the top layer to create an extremely tough composite. The small, uniform pores in the foam structure ensure that very little resin escapes into the foam cells of the core surface.