Ice hockey might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of structural foam core. But in a modern hockey stick that must be extremely light, strong, and flexible, Divinycell foam core plays an important role. Like in the sticks from the renowned company Sherwood Hockey, one of the leading hockey brands using Diab core materials.
The first organized indoor ice hockey game was played at Montreal’s Victoria Skating Rink in 1875. Since then, the game has continued to evolve with more speed, more skill, and individuality. Now, more than ever, players need the gear to match their personalities and playing styles. That’s why hockey sticks today are innovative tools of speed and power.
Sherwood Hockey is one of the leading manufacturers of hockey gear and has been in the business since 1949. World class professional players such as Matthew Tkachuk, Connor Brown, Quinton Byfield, Artturi Lehkonen, Kaapor Kakko, and Alex Debrincat all use Sherwood Sticks. Like many leading brands, Sherwood uses Divinycell foam cores to make its sticks stronger, lighter, and smarter.
It is a challenge designing the perfect hockey stick because there are so many different factors to consider, like weight, strength, flexibility, endurance, impact, and consistency. And they are all important because the player can feel the difference already when a stick differs only a few grams. Therefore, lightweight and mass distribution are extremely important to the elite athlete. The player accelerates the puck with the stick’s blade, so less mass in the lower section of the stick allows greater dexterity and less inertia. Consequently, the ability to produce a high-quality, lightweight structure is essential. Furthermore, the complex shape dictates that a machined foam core is required to achieve uniform wall thickness and compaction.
Additionally, the composite structure will see large deformations in the shaft and blade during shooting. As such, the shear strength of the core is critical.
“This is an area where the Diab’s Divinycell foams are particularly advantageous,” says Dan Rich, manager of the ice hockey product development with Sherwood Hockey.
At the same time, the speed of the game dictates that the player must be able to receive a high-speed pass while skating at full stride without losing control of the puck.
“This requires a structure that can quickly de-accelerate the puck. Thus, the dampening properties of the Divinycell foams are also very effective,” says Rich.
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