RAPPERSWIL, SWITZERLAND (Dec. 5, 10 a.m. ET) — The Institut für Werkstofftechnik und Kunststoffverarbeitung (IWK) materials and plastics processing institute at the Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil (HSR) in Rapperswil, Switzerland, has developed a carbon-reinforced plastic trumpet for DaCarbo AG by using lost core technology in resin transfer molding.
To make the trumpet, IWK used a two-part mold. Each part has an aluminum end-piece and a diecast bismuth-tin alloy core, and receives a preform consisting of several braided hoses for resin impregnation and curing. The finished cured trumpet body is removed then the lost cores are melted in a hot water bath for re-use, along with the aluminium end-pieces.
The trumpet, exhibited at Fakuma 2011, has no condensed water pitting corrosion, which often happens with brass trumpets. It is also more robust, weighs less and needs fewer adjustments before playing, says IWK.
The institute's head, Frank Ehrig, told European Plastics News the trumpet is also easier to play because it requires less air pressure. Trumpet players at the Zurich Tonhalle orchestra have not detected differences in tone quality over a brass trumpet, he adds.
IWK developed the trumpet with CarboHorns Swiss, now DaCarbo, a Lachen, Switzerland firm founded in 2009 by Werner Spiri, who has 30 years experience in making trumpets at his Musik Spiri company, and Andreas Keller, a material scientist at the ETH university in Zurich.
Keller says the DaCarbo trumpet produces a warm, full-bodied sound, as it suppresses energy-consuming wall vibrations better than brass.