You are on page 1of 7

By Group 65


Review of Group 66 Kayak Design Report

Identification of design criteria

Function of kayak:
The function of a kayak is to move across water, typically in a recreational manner. The
kayak is composed of three main components: body, rudder and rudder cables, each of which
perform a vital task in the proper functioning of the kayak. As such when designing the kayak
we must consider the requirements for speed, carrying capacity, manoeuvrability, stability
and safety.

Functional and Mechanical Requirements

The body of kayak should be water proof, as it must be able to float and not allow water to
enter the hull. Further the body should have a high yield strength, with moderate rigidity so as
to not deform upon a sharp impact (such as a rock). Finally as the kayak will be constantly in
water (fresh and salt water) it must be corrosion resistant so as to avoid the deterioration of
the body from its prolonged exposure.

Kayak Rudder:
The rudder of the kayak must have a high yield strength, must be rigid and have a high
flexural strength (to maintain structural integrity from experiencing high bending stresses), so
as to not deform upon directing the body of the rudder during operation. Similar to the body,
the rudder is continually exposed to water (fresh/salt) and hence must be corrosion resistant.

Function of rudder cables:

The rudder cables must have a high tensile strength for during operation the cables are kept in
tension, thus to reduce the chance of the cables failing. Furthermore the cables must be
slightly flexible but also have high toughness, so as to avoid deformation from the impact
force produced by the water and the body.

Other requirements:
The most common users of the kayak are professional athletes and the question they ask is,
how fast can the kayak go? As such the materials chosen for the design of the kayak cannot
be too heavy. Furthermore, the performance (speed) of the kayak also depends upon how well
the kayak streamlines in the water. Typically longer kayak streamline better, however

manoeuvrability is reduced, thus we must find the perfect balance between the length and
weight, as to have maximum manoeuvrability whilst traversing at high speeds.

Criteria Comparison:
The Kayak Hull:
The main use of kayaks hull is to provide an enough capacity for kayakers. Properties that
are considered by group 66 involve mass, strength, ductility, corrosion resistance and
hardness. The need for high strength and hardness material is consistent in both our group
and group 66s assessment of the criteria for hull so that the kayak can resist plastic
deformation in the operation. We also agree that the density of material for hull should be low
in order that kayak can travel quickly as it is moving, however this property is based on a
good stability for whole kayak. Furthermore it should have a good corrosion resistance to
avoid being corroded because kayak always work in the marine situation.

Kayak Rudder:
Kayaks rudders are most amidships located on the kayak and it is used to increase the
manoeuvrability of the kayak, especially in some strong current conditions. Our group design
criteria of kayak rudder are almost same as the assessment of group 66 including its high
yield strength, high corrosion resistance and light weight. The reason why we choose light
weight for rudder is for more accurate control, so polymer is a best option to choose. Our
group choose carbon fibre as main material for rudder that is same as the choice for group 66
because carbon fibre is strongly lightweight and its high toughness also can protect rudder to
be deformed.

Kayak rudder cables:

Rudder cable is an important
component for kayak that links
kayaker and rudder. Kayakers can
control kayak because cables connect
each component of kayak to work.
Both group 65 and 66 are agreed with
polymers to be main material because
it is lightweight and it can withstand
substantial amount of tensile and
cyclical loading, furthermore, the price is low compared with other three materials and it also
has big range for the Youngs Moduli so that it is hard to break.

Discussion of the appropriate materials

This groups choice in selecting Aramid (commonly known as Kevlar) as the material used as
the hull is an appropriate selection deemed by our team. However this team has seemed to
over looked carbon fibre, which is a structurally stronger material.
Although Aramid is a cheaper material it has several key weaknesses when compared to
carbon fibre;

Youngs modulus In high end racing kayaks need stiff as the shape of the boat is
paramount to its performance. Carbon fibre has a higher Youngs modulus of 70GPa

compared to aramid with a Youngs modulus of 30 GPa (Performance Composites (1)).

Environmental resistance Kayaks are often used in salt water and exposed to large
amounts of UV, thus the hull material chemically and physically inert. Again Carbon
fibre is a sound choice as it has a high chemical and heat resistance.

It is agreed that a polymer is the most suitable material for the use of the rudder cable. It is
also noted that the 3rd paragraph under (2.3 Kayak rudder cables) also provides an acceptable
material selection for the rudder cable.
Our research shows that the two main criteria for the cables is that they have high corrosion
resistance and that they can withstand cyclic tensile loading. Polymers can have high
corrosion resistance but raises questions as to the balance between tensile strength and
corrosion resistance keeping in mind cost.

The main purpose of the rudder is to provide and support directional stability in controlling
the kayak. It is agreed that their chosen polymer for the rudder is the most optimized and
suitable for the rudder. Properties that determine their effective are its ability to resist
corrosion, flexibility, high tensile strength, rigid and tough. The flexibility accounts for it
being lightweight however flexibility needs to be balanced with toughness. Aluminium,
carbon fibre and stainless steel are the available materials for rudders. Although aluminium
and stainless are a cheaper alternative, carbon fibre has much more desirable properties:

Toughness- As mentioned, rudder require a balance in weight and toughness. Steel has
the highest toughness and heaviest material. Carbon fibre is the most lightweight

material but tougher than aluminium. Carbon fibre has the highest tough-weight ratio.
Yield strength- Carbon fibre has a yield strength of 200 MPa, while steel and
aluminium have 301 MPa and 48.3 MPa. Thus steel and carbon fibre are most

desirable for stability.

Resistance to corrosion- Aluminium is more corrosive resistive than steel, but carbon

fibre is the most resistive.

Ultimate Tensile strength- Carbon fibre, stainless steel and aluminium have an
ultimate tensile strength of 810 MPa, 696 MPa and 90 MPa respectively.

As a result of our research, carbon fibre is the best option, as it is corrosion resistant, stiff,
lightweight and tough.

Peer Review and Grading




Identification of design

Group 66 identified several important

design constraints of each component of the


Materials selection and


Material selection was highly appropriate

for each component, with evidence relating
to the mechanical properties being


Quality of supporting

High quality of evidence, with evidence

being relevant to constraints identified.
However no diagrams of graphs and/or
charts comparing several material classes
were provided.


Report format and structure

The format and structure of Group 66s

report is appropriate, however the structure
can be improved with the inclusions of
diagrams (desktop publishing skills)

2 /3

Reliability of sources

The report was compiled from a variety of

quality sources, however the inclusion of
more reliable sources would be desirable
(.edu, .gov, etc)



References:, Buying a
Canoe or Kayak. Retrieved 27 September 2014., Comparison of
Carbon Fiber, Kevlar (Aramid) and E Glass used in Composites for Boatbuilding. Viewed
Mechanical Properties of Carbon Fibre Composite Materials, Fibre / Epoxy resin
(120C Cure), By Performance Composites, Viewed 27/09/14, Materials, Viewed