Polymer UV Resistance Solved

Lets put early concern about UV polymer degradation of AWES kites to rest. Our open engineering challenges are in general AWES design and operations, not UV vulnerability.

UV degradation was never major barrier to power kites and paragliders, because kite sports relentlessly offer better designs, at better values, year by year; including ever-better UV resistance for typical colorful wings. Bright colors are broadly known to deteriorate fastest, fading first, favoring early purchase of bright new wings. Long before a typical power kite could fail by UV exposure, it got replaced by a newer model. Typical sport power kite quivers effectively compound UV immunity.

AWE is a bit different. We really do intend to wear out kites, by whatever cause kills them first. In the case of UV life, we must for now give up bright colors overlaid with clear UV sealants, that crack with time as the fibers creep. We know that aviation long ago mastered use of aluminum powder to protect fabric covered airplanes that sit up to 20 years outdoors, and still meet structural specs.

Even better, our polymer fibers gain indefinite UV life by standard addition of Carbon Black. Outdoor Rated HDPE is this sort of black. It may be “we can have any color (kite) we want, as long as its black”. Alu and iron oxides also serve as anti-UV options. Acrylic is used for auto lights, and its UV changes are reversed by solvent-treatment.

It just gets better in AWE, as the Graphene Age dawns, with inherent carbon black UV resistance.

A typical statement of industrial HDPE carbon black UV protection-

“A typical additive used to protect outdoor applications is carbon black. In most applications, carbon black in concentrations of 3% or more are known to protect HDPE from the sun.”


Prediction: Black Dyneema (UHMWPE) will have even greater UV life than White, already considered “UV stable” in some sources.

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