3Flex® is a bio-influenced way of making structures; we design from the inside-out, not outside-in, as nature intended. Stiffness, form and flexibility are combined to overcome conventional design limitations and open new possibilities in aero/hydro-elastic design. This leads to one of the core benefits of the technology: selective flexibility, whereby the structures can be designed to twist, deform and flex to meet the application's need. As this is achieved using viscous-elastic properties more subtle benefits are revealed.
3Flex propellers, fairings and hydrofoils have been developed up to TRL3-5. Our on-water performance across each product matches or exceeds predicted performance in simulation and when compared to their equivalents. Our hydrofoils have gone from concept on paper to over 1000 hours of on water testing in just under 18 months. The propellers are less damage prone whilst producing identical thrust to their traditional equivalent. Initial results are incredibly encouraging around their hydroacoustic benefits.
Our foils/surfaces are manufactured using a three step process that ensures the structure is integrous and robust. Employing modern manufacturing methods we have atypical control over its assembly and construction. This approach enables the surfaces to be fully instrumented to provide feedback and data in real time. Our integrated create, simulate and manufacture algorithms allow engineers to analyse dynamic pressure loads (FSI) and create exceptional foils using recycled alloys, polymers and elastomers reliably and safely.
Suspension for the ocean
On water our windfoils produce 20-50% less pitch and roll variance when compared to their carbon equivalent. The blades bend and twist independently to one another, leading to dramatic reductions in stress concentrations and peak loads. Less user input is required as unwanted motion and perturbations are damped allowing the rider to focus on their new top speed or new maneuovre. In crashing surf the foils can be dragged up the beach without risk of damage to rider or foil. It's only what fish and sea mammals do, but it's Awesome!