Formula 1 has been creating spin-offs for years as the technology and expertise are applied to other industries. In recent times several of the teams have turned to this idea and have been making money commercialising their F1 assets. A new independent company called GPFOne has just launched a product called Hypetex, which seems to have huge potential across a wide range of industries, including automobiles, motorsport, marine, aviation, cycling, fashion and design.
The concept is very simple. Carbonfibre composite materials have always been black in colour. The materials are used for a wide range of activities these days but must always be painted. The paint adds weight to the product. Thus creating coloured composite fibres is a good way to improve efficiency and to create a new look. GPFOne has developed the world’s first coloured carbon fibre composite materials, offering exciting opportunities in the future with the “light, bright, bold and strong” properties.
It has taken seven years to develop Hypetex, with the expertise coming from F1 composite engineers, notably Harry Street, who has been around F1 for 20 years, starting out with Pacific GP, before spells at Prodrive, Honda Racing F1/Brawn GP and Force India. The company is led by entrepreneurs Marc and Stephen Cohen. They have signed a deal with the Formula One group for the production of F1-branded goods and to use the sport as a platform to draw attention to their product. Items made from Hypetex were on display at an industry forum at Silverstone, called “Driving Technological Change within British Manufacturing”, organised by the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, in the days before the British GP. The event looked at technology related to materials and composites, power train efficiency, energy capture and aerodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer.
“If Hypetex wasn’t so thrilling I wouldn’t put my name to it,” said Bernie Ecclestone.
The company believes that there is a huge market for its expertise and hopes to became a big new player in the industry. The global demand on carbonfibre composites is reckoned to be in the region of $15 billion, with an annual growth rate of at least seven percent. The strongest demand comes from the aircraft and aerospace industries, wind energy and the automotive and military sectors.