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How Composite Golf Shafts Are Made

How Composite Golf Shafts Are Made

And graphite for irons as well as drivers and woods

Almost all drivers and fairway woods are made with composite golf shafts, and many golfers would benefit from installing the lighter and more shock absorbing composite shafts in their irons as well.

By “composite” shaft, I mean what is generally referred to as a graphite shaft. However, there are many more materials in the makeup of this shaft than just graphite. You’ll also find materials such as Kevlar, fiberglass, boron and titanium, among others.

PING_PWR75 shaft

The manufacturing of this type of shaft begins with the creation of the “pre-preg” graphite material. Initially, long strands of hair-like graphite material are formed into a sheet as it’s impregnated with a matrix of epoxy resin. This is the pre-preg. These sheets are then cut into shapes to fit over the conical shaped steel mandrel. In order to wrap uniformly around a cone shape the sheets are cut into sections called pennants or flags due to their shapes.

pre-preg

The material then is rolled under some pressure onto the mandrel and wrapped very tightly with a tape, which spirals down the length of the uncured shaft. These taped shafts are then baked in a large oven to cure the epoxy and form the semi-finished shaft.

The steel mandrel, which served as the interior shape of the composite shaft, is pulled out from the cured, but rough shafts. The tape is cut off, and the ridges are ground away with a center-less grinder to form a nearly finished shaft.

To complete the product, additional sanding is done and then the shaft is painted with the main overall color. Fancy graphics often are added with silk screening or decals to complete the composite shaft.

multi-plex shaft tech

This multi-stepped process explains the higher cost of composite shafts versus steel shafts, although the method has become so well implemented by manufacturers that the price of some graphite shafts are not much more than good quality steel ones.

DYNALITE-GOLD-XP

The designers of composite shafts are able to utilize the different materials to create not only lighter shafts, but also produce sections that will influence the feel, flex, kick point and launch of the golf ball. The shaft can be made with less torque (twist) or more firmness to better match that of the golfer for whom the specific club may be designed.

This may be done with a higher-modulus graphite material strategically positioned within the makeup of the shaft along with the use of some other materials. Higher-modulus graphite is less prone to easily twist about the shaft’s axis. It’s seen in more expensive composite shafts due to the premium cost.

The next time you get ready to hit your driver, be assured that a great amount of time and effort went into the creation of your composite shaft so that you may play your very best.


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