20-01-2011, 05:48 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Market Drayton
I tend not to get to involved with discussions like this one, but in this case I thought I'd add my own view and some info for people to consider.
I, like many others don't believe that the new 3M resin is the giant advance that we see being touted in the press. The moves from cane to glass and then from glass to carbon were big leaps forward......this I don't believe is quite in that league, though perhaps similar to the jump from S Glass to the very early forms of carbon fibre. It is however a definite improvement on current materials.
It will most notably add strength and robustness to rod blanks. Anyone who's heard that sickening crack whilst playing a fish will agree that anything that reduces the chances of that happening has to be a good thing. Along with the added strength a reduction of weight will of course follow...again a good thing.
A few points to consider that I've recently seen mentioned.
"3M Matrix resin system delivers the following improvements:
76% improvement in shear modulus;
73% improvement in toughness;
68% improvement in Barcol hardness.
In composite structures like a rod - it delivers at least the following results:
· 25% improvement in compression strength;
· 49% improvement in in-plane shear stiffness:
The fundamental weakness of carbon fibre is a limitation in compression strength, even with circumferential support. The new 3M matrix system is a higher modulus resin, it supports the fibre to reduce or delay micro-buckling, resulting in a stronger, longer lasting product. By creating rods that are more durable and potentially lighter weight, you are increasing product performance while decreasing the chance for material failures. This means fewer returns and warranty claims and more satisfied customers."
The 3M system is certainly a leap in resin technology and it is primarily a safe and the best option for matrix reinforcement. The resin is reinforced with silica oxide nano particles. There are other offerings on the market that incorporate carbon nano tubes (SWNT). As I understand it, these are some of the most toxic, carcinogenic substances known to man and should be treated accordingly – even when embedded in a resin matrix. Something to consider if for whatever reason you are machining a piece of that material and generating dust particles.
Whether all this is an amazing advance is debatable. A collection of small improvements tends to add up to 1 large improvement. Will it enable an average caster to suddenly be able to delicately drop a dry fly on a trouts nose at 30 yards? NO! However as I previously mentioned it will reduce (not eliminate) breakages and is noticeably lighter in the hand.
Lastly, the claim that Hardy's are the only UK firm to get the 3M license isn't entirely correct......watch this space......