Quadrax Corp., a defense supplier expanding into commercial markets, plans initial shipment of its high-performance, thermoplastic golf shafts by late September or early October. ``We will be selling a high-end shaft to anyone who wants to use them in the normal course of events,'' James J. Palermo, chairman and chief executive officer, said. ``We have invested close to $2 million and expect to eventually be capable of making a shaft of 50 grams or less.''
The company's Quadrax West Coast subsidiary has established a development center and production line in Vista, Calif., near operations of major golf equip-ment manufacturers. By early 1997, the line could make up to 30,000 shafts per month, according to Jerald Rolla, the subsidiary's general manager. Also, the facility will have the capacity to make other tubular products or add a prepreg line.
The company said Aug. 28 it signed a contract with Carlsbad, Calif.-based Taylor Made Golf Co. to develop new golf products that will use Quadrax's unidirectional fiber-reinforced thermoplastic tape. Quadrax fabricates the tape and then consolidates the material into multi-ply laminates. Quadrax has the capability to supply material and technology and may sign major regional licenses with domestic and foreign golf club and shaft manufacturers.
The company was founded in 1986 to supply defense needs and began to convert to commercial programs in mid-1993. Palermo, who joined the company in early 1995, is focusing primarily on markets for golf shafts, hockey sticks and snowboards.
Quadrax's composite tennis racket has dampening characteristics that help to reduce elbow shock, and the company has developed a composite handlebar under a joint program with a major bicycle manufacturer.
Quadrax employs 35 at its 49,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility in Portsmouth, R.I.; 35 at the 15,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution site of subsidiary Lion Golf of Oregon Inc. in Bend, Ore.; and 20 at the 10,000-square-foot plant in Vista.
Quadrax reported a 1995 loss of $9 million on sales of $4.6 million. In 1994, the loss was $11.5 million on sales of $860,000. The firm raised $9.3 million of equity capital in 1995 and recognizes that it will need significant outside financing in the next few years.