Incidence membranes: developments and novelties

Oct 25, 2017

Since being developed in 2015 and the first DFi sails made in 2016, Incidence’s filamentary membrane has covered many miles. DFi is evolving and appealing to an increasing number of racers... While the number one French sailmakers will present a new membrane, the DF Panel (Radial and Cross-cut), at METS and at Nautic. Rendezvous from from the 2nd to the 10th of December at Nautic, stand 2-1 A62.

“The sails are beautiful, they hold their shape. The DFi delivers on its promise,” Lionel Lemonchois, skipper of the maxi trimaran Prince de Bretagne.

“The new DFi J2 and J3 perfectly meet our expectations. The next step will be to work on the downwind sails, in DFi Radial. As for the older sails, they do not lose their shape,” Paul Meilhat, skipper of the IMOCA SMA.

“We had a new gennaker made in DFi panel: it is definitely a great improvement compared to what we had before!” Lalou Roucayrol, skipper of the Multi50 Arkema.

“The sails are beautiful, and the material is top quality. If the sails were to be replaced, I would fully trust them!” Aymeric Chappellier, skipper of the Class40 Aïna fully equipped with Incidence sails (DFi flat sails).

With two seasons in their wake, the first sails in DFi still totally fulfil what competitors need. Building on the strength of the feedback, the Incidence Technologies team has continued its development work in terms of filamentary membranes. Explanations.

Made-to-measure
After two years of development, the DFi dedicated to made-to-measure sails, becomes more flexible and lightweight with excellent shape holding capacities. As the first material developed by Incidence Technologies, DFi is made of pre-impregnated composite strips laid out along very precise non-parallel lines, to carry the primary and secondary loads exerted on the sail during sailing. This membrane is made to measure according to the navigation programme of the boat. There are three DFi (Race, Offshore and Gennaker). They are dedicated to racing machines (IRC, monotype and offshore), to superyachts and long-distance cruisers (see table at the bottom of the page).

DF Panel membrane
The DF panel
, launched this year by Incidence, opens up new horizons for racers and lovers of long-distance voyages. This filamentary membrane is produced in a standardised manner, in panels. The inclinations given to the pre-impregnated composite strips are the same over the entire surface of these panels. This material benefits from excellent technical qualities; it’s lightweight and robust, with great shape holding capacity, plus it’s easier and faster to produce.

Radial and Cross-cut
There are three types of DF panel: DF Radial, DF Cross-cut Race and DF Cross-cut Offshore.

The DF Radial panels consist of symmetrically arranged composite strips.
While the DF Cross-cut is asymmetrical: some strips are oriented to respond to the strong loads of the sheet, others respond to those of the tack. Directions with little load are less well covered to optimise the weight of the sail.

The interest of the DF Cross-cut is twofold:
- to better respond to the mechanical loads of a sail (low inclination of the strips relative to the spinnaker and the luff and significant inclination where the loads are weaker),
- to optimise and therefore reduce the material used to lighten the sail.


The DF panel and its Radial and Cross-cut variations will be presented at Nautic.

 The Incidence filamentary membranes in detail

DFi membrane

Characteristics

Use

Type of sails

 DFi Race

- Shape holding capacitiy
- Lightweight
- Durability.

 Regattas, IRC events, racing superyachts.

Mainsails and flat foresails.

DFi Offshore

- Priority to durability
- Lightweight

- Shape holding capacity

Offshore racing, cruising and voyages.

IMOCA, Multi 50 and other multihulls.

Superyachts and big production boats.

Mainsails and flat foresails.

DFi Gennaker

- Durability
- Lightweight
- Shape holding capacity

 

Regattas, offshore racing, cruising, voyaging.

 

Gennakers

 

 

DF panel

Characteristics

Use

Type of sails

DF Radial

- Priority to shape holding capacity.
- Lightweight
- Durability

 

Regattas, offshore racing, cruising, voyaging.

 

Downwind sails

DF Cross-cut Race

- Priority to durability
- Lightweight
- Shape holding capacity

Regattas, offshore races such as Transquadra

Mainsails and flat foresails.

 

DF Cross-cut Offshore

- Durability
- Lightweight
- Shape holding capacity

Cruising, voyaging.

Mainsails and flat foresails.