Ekoa

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Ekoa is a natural Biocomposite available in dry fabrics, pre-pregs, as well as cores and resins. Ekoa has been used in a variety of applications, including musical instruments, such as a ukulele[1] and a guitar,[2][3] as well as sports equipment, including a bicycle frame,[4] and a lacrosse stick.[5]

History[edit]

Ekoa was initially developed by Blackbird Guitars, a company that has made musical instruments out of Carbon fiber reinforced polymer, but started working on a biobased composite material that would work well for musical instruments. Blackbird worked with Entropy Resins to develop Ekoa, and released the first production musical instrument in 2013. Joe Luttwak of Blackbird and Desi Banatao of Entropy formed a separate company, Lingrove, LLC, to further develop Ekoa and expand applications.[6] Luttwak filed for a patent for "METHOD FOR MAKING LIGHT AND STIFF PANELS AND STRUCTURES USING NATURAL FIBER COMPOSITES" on November 18, 2014, which was given A1 Kind Code status on May 15, 2015.[7] Lingrove filed "Ekoa" as a registered trademark on November 12, 2013. The trademark was registered on February 3, 2015.[8] The trademark is registered under two separate classes: 015 - Musical instruments, and 024 - Textiles and textile goods, not included in other classes; bed and table covers.

Applications[edit]

Ekoa was initially developed to combine the tone of wooden instruments with the durability of a composite instrument.[9] Previously, composite instruments had been made with carbon fiber, glass fiber, or aluminum to achieve durability, but these materials did not have the same tonality of wood. To address this, Ekoa utilizes flax fibers and produces a tone more like wood.[10] The first musical instrument product made of Ekoa was the Blackbird Clara concert ukulele, which has won a variety of awards in the composites industry, including at The Composites And Advanced Material Expo (CAMX), JEC Americas, and Industrial Designers Society of America's IDEA Award.[11][12][13] Blackbird later introduced the El Capitan guitar model, also made with Ekoa.

For sports equipment, RockWest Composites has produced a bicycle frame in conjunction with Calfee,[14] as well as a lacrosse stick with a hexagonal shape core wrapped in Ekoa twill.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Blackbird launches plant fiber-based composite musical instrument". Composites World. Gardner Business Media. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  2. ^ "SF company makes guitars from plants". Cable News Network. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  3. ^ "And Now, the Linen Guitar". Oakland Magazine. Telegraph Media. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Ekoa® Natural Composite Hybrid Tubing". Rock West Composites. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Carbon Fiber + EKOA Lacrosse Stick". Rock West Composites. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Lingrove - How it all started". Lingrove. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  7. ^ "United States Patent Application 20150135930". United States Patent & Trademark Office. Retrieved 24 September 2015.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "EKOA - Trademark Details". Justia Trademarks. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Bio-prepreg guitar: The look, feel and acoustic quality of wood". Composites World. Gardner Business Media. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Anaheim debut for Blackbird's El Capitan Ekoa acoustic guitar". GizMag. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Check Out the Competition: Visit the Awards Pavilion at The Composites And Advanced Material Expo (CAMX)". Composites World. Gardner Business Media. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Highlights from JEC Americas". Composites World. Gardner Business Media. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  13. ^ "2014 IDSA IDEA Award - Bronze - Entertainment - Blackbird Clara Ukulele". Industrial Designers Society of America. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Ekoa Bike Frame - Get A Matching Guitar And Bike". MacNichol, Inc. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Carbon Fiber + EKOA Lacrosse Stick". Rock West Composites. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.

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