Mercian Indoor Evolution CKF65i Low
- Technical Details
- Player Profile
The highest specification carbon indoor stick in the Evolution range, combining a 65% carbon lay-up over a fibreglass skeleton with Kevlar inserts, The Evolution CKF65 features an Ultimate (extreme) low bend to aid dragflicking and powerful push passing.
- 65% Carbon
- Ultimate (Extreme) Low Bend (24.5mm @ 200mm)
- Dual process vibration control (Peizo-Electric fibres, M-Gel)
- Nano-Polymer Resin
One of the most common questions asked by the consumer is ‘how much carbon?’ with the perception that more is better. That is far from the truth, so to shed a little light. Firstly the quality of carbon (manufacturing point) is important. Toray (Japanese) Carbon is often considered the best, but Carbon from Germany, Scotland and South Africa (to name a few) are all high-quality. Sticks are usually made in Pakistan and most major brands will import Carbon into Pakistan to make sticks. Local made carbon is not usually as good. But it is difficult to know if a brand uses imported carbon. The number of filaments in the carbon fibre is relevant, 1K, 3K etc relate to the number of filaments of pure carbon within a fibre or ‘tow’. 1K is used in aeronautical industry and electronics. 3K and 6K are commonly used in sport as they have the right combination of weight and strength. Anything over 6K is very dense and too heavy for sports equipment. Again this isn’t a common line of questioning from the consumer but may come up. Carbon fibres are a straight line material and so provide stiffness in a single direction. To provide stiffness in multiple directions the fibre can be woven into a multi-directional sheet (seen as an obvious weave in the sticks surface) or single direction sheets can be layered over each other to create the multi-directional stiffness. 40% of the weight of a composite stick comes from the resin within it. So a stick can’t be 100% carbon. However it can be claimed that 100% of the composite materials in a stick are carbon. Mercian do not believe this gives optimal strength and so always combine the carbon overlay with a composite micro-skeleton made from fibreglass, Kevlar (aramid) and basalt. Carbon is stiff but brittle. The stiffness means that the energy created by the player when striking the ball – hit / slap – transfers to the ball and is not absorbed by the stick. Maximum energy transfer allowed by the FIH is 98%. But this stiffness means that the stick will not absorb energy on trapping / receiving so needs soft hands! The brittleness of carbon means that if the fibres are broken (stick tackle / post impact) they will crack and the stick can or will fail. This is not a manufacturing fault. Other materials can be used in conjunction with carbon to get a positive performance outcome. Special chemicals are used with paints and lacquers to get them to bend to the top layer of carbon and create high-quality graphics.
COLD SATIN LACQUER
The final coating applied to a stick is usually purely for cosmetic reasons. The Cold Satin Lacquer applied to the Evolution models actually feels different under a players touch, increasing awareness of temperature and giving the impression of reduced friction for dribbling and stick turn-over.
Aramid fibres are another material used in the production of hockey sticks. Also known by their trade name of Kevlar they are a heat resistant, incredibly strong synthetic fibre. It was first used commercially in the 1970’s to replace the steel wires used to reinforce racing car tyres.The threads are drawn from the molten plastic base and have such strength that when interwoven can be used to create bullet proof vests. In a hockey stick they add to the strength and durability of the stick, balancing the brittle nature of the Carbon with shock absorption and creating well bonded hitting surfaces. The weave of the Kevlar has to be carefully monitored so that resin can permeate the layers in the stick allowing for correctly bonded laminates. If a stick starts to come apart (delaminate) it is usually because the resin has not properly travelled through the layers during production, either due to fibres being too tight, resin impregnation being poor initially or the pressure used during production being incorrect.
Piezo-electric fibres are included in all the Evolution sticks they are used to ‘harvest’ the vibrations created in these super-stiff sticks and turn them into heat. The result of this is efficient vibration dampening. Its achieved because the molecules within the material are active, the force applied to them (vibrations) causes the fibres to bend and emit a small electric charge that is dispelled as heat. The technology originally used by Head in tennis, applied those forces through an electrode to counter-act the vibrations (this isn’t present in hockey sticks!)
The particles within our resins have been altered at a nano-size level (10 x below microscopic) Instead of using nano-carbon particles, the use of rubberized polymers creates a more flexible but stronger bond between the composite layers. This increases the stiffness of the sticks and reduces de-lamination.
The Mercian Ultimate Bend is the most aggressive low bow that we have ever made, with the bend of the stick effectively cupping the ball. The maximum bend at this lowest legal point enhances drag ﬂicking and aerial skills with the balance point of the stick adjusted to also favour 3D dribbling skills. Whilst the shaft weighting aid sticks head speed it still provides power and balance for the slapping and pushing associated with elite level skill execution.
Suitable for an experienced indoor player, the intermediate carbon percentage aids any power related skills, whilst the softer touch from the fibreglass skeleton helps with control and 'feel' while executing elimation and close skills.