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Cricket helmet could prove match-winner

Polar Composites : 15 January, 2010  (New Product)
A new lightweight cricket helmet worn for the first time by Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara in the 2009 World Twenty20 tournament could prove a match-winner for the East Anglian manufacturing firm behind the design.
Cricket helmet could prove match-winner
Polar Composites - a specialist in the design and production of carbon fibre products - is now working on an order for 300 of the new helmets, which are thinner, but stronger and lighter than traditional cricket helmets.

Mike Harris, who founded the firm in Wymondham in 2006, said there was now potential to develop a range of lightweight carbon fibre helmets for other sports - from horse-riding to skiing.

'We'd done a sky-diving helmet, one of our first projects, but we took a call about cricket helmets and a company came to us with a design,' Mr Harris said. 'We looked at it and suggested that if we were going to put great materials in it, we could make it distinctive to look at.

'So we redesigned it with them. On Monday we've got a piece of equipment coming in which will mean we can press-mould them in carbon fibre very quickly and efficiently and get the volumes out they now need - following Sangakkara, they've had increased interest.'

Mr Harris added: 'The shell we do is one millimetre thick and has the peak moulded in. It's very strong, very light. If you're at the crease for six hours a day, you won't have something that feels like a lead weight on your head, and there's better visability too.'

Polar Composites saw turnover hit 370,000 last year and is aiming to double that in the next 12 months.

Mr Harris said the firm had recently recorded its best week for orders - taking work worth 70,000 from six different clients.

Mr Harris said: 'I think the reason why we're doing well is that we've haven't just concentrated on one industry sector. Our main ones are motorsport, automotive, marine, communications and sport and leisure. With our investment in new equipment, we can now look at military, aerospace and medical. When it comes to marine - for luxury boats - that market has fallen off.'
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