OUR RESEARCH, DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
It begins with our world-class athletes. Their suggestions, recommendations and new ideas provide the inspiration and challenges that drive the research and development of advanced materials, innovative oar design and construction.
The most crucial step involves testing both in our laboratories and with our athletes at completions around the world. Our athletes often recommend an innovation that’s outside the bounds of existing technology. The BRACA-SPORT® Research, Design and Development team accepts their challenges and turns to the laboratory for new technology, materials and processes. Our team of advanced composite, biomechanical, chemical and computer engineers must turn those revolutionary ideas into an oar that maximizes an athlete’s ability to move the boat.
STEP 1: Research & Design in Conjunction With World-Class Athletes
Athletes who constantly pursue their own limits help us push the boundary of oar design and technology. The BRACA-SPORT® Athlete Team gives us constant feedback on the oars they depend on for success and performance during competitions. We hear from our athletes through oar evaluations and regular athlete input sessions.
STEP 2: State of the Art Design Analysis
The latest Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) science, process and software are the foundation of oar design and analysis at BRAČA-SPORT® research and development group. The highly-accurate and sophisticated computational hydrodynamic analysis allows us to simulate fluid flow physics and chemistry in real world rowing conditions, run many what-if scenarios, and quickly analyze the effects of fluid flow and related forces on the scull and sweep oar blade components.
This analysis enables us to virtually get inside the design and see how it performs. It gives us a deeper insight into blade designs and provides comprehensive data and many phenomena, which wouldn’t be visible through any other means such as experimental tests. In addition the process allows predicting what will happen under a given set of circumstances. We predict how the design will perform, and test hundreds of variations until we arrive at an optimal result for the best oar.
STEP 3: Advanced Material Research & Development
Our Research & Development team is comprised of the world’s most innovative leading advance composite engineers that create the technically advanced carbon fabrics needed to develop oars that meet our high standards.
As of today we are still the only manufacturer to engineer and produce its own carbon fabrics and oars. BRAČA-SPORT® is the first company in the world to develop and produce 50g/sq.m unidirectional carbon fabric from 50k fiber and 30g/sq.m unidirectional carbon fabric from 24k fiber opening new design and development capabilities for high performance sport equipment.
This provides the ability to produce a very specific and fine grain unidirectional high modulus carbon (HMC) fabric layers in contrast to what is available in the market. The diverse range of specific and fine grain materials is the key improvement enabler of the oar’s performance characteristics. Together our unique combination of proprietary multi-characteristic and multi-layer composite fiber lay-up techniques and consolidation methods provides the ultimate mechanical and kinetic capabilities, giving us unlimited design and development potential of every oar component.
STEP 4: Innovative Design & Construction
Exploring the frontiers of technology for better carbon fabrics and components is only the beginning of the design and development life cycle of a new oar.
Our chemical engineers were first to develop and incorporate proprietary epoxy gelcoat with UV protection in the oar construction, guarantying that all high-performance parameters and characteristics for every scull and sweep oar produced are preserved for a long period of time.
We invented and developed the world’s first unique blade molding system to protect the internal foam from water penetration and provide extra strength and rigidity to the oar. This exclusive high-quality system provides maximum durability and outstanding impact protection in comparison to conventional composite blades which have exposed foam core on the open edge and are vulnerable to damage and the inevitable penetration of water.
Our team of biomechanical and kinetic engineers cemented their place in history by inventing world’s first “Elliptical Blade” shape concept – by now the de facto shape in the rowing. And the revolutionary “Mechanical Energy” concept – the shafts ability to store elastic potential energy during the first part of the drive and release it during and after the midrange in the controlled mode, enabling the maximum velocity of the boat.
STEP 5: Laboratory Tested & Competition Proven
We save the most critical step in our product development process for last. In addition to subjecting our products to a tortuous series of laboratory tests, we test our oars at the top completions to learn how new products perform under the true test of the real racing conditions. After receiving feedback, we refine the product until it receives approval from our world-class athlete team.