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wannabe
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2,160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
With a lot of second hand limbs available these days, I started wondering wether core material would play a role in limb longevity.

I remember reading something along the lines that some foam materials would deteriorate over time, whereas wood cored limbs would be a somewhat safer choice. I know there are a lot of members shooting older limbs, both foam and wood. Has anyone had experiences that would back this claim?

Thank you,
-bm.
 

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John Conaway
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1,646 Posts
Great Question!
Especially with the increase in stress that comes with the Warf and other short risers. Some now as short as 12".
I have bought used and sold several sets of "OLD" limbs and have not had any problems. Both foam and wood cores have held up very well. Some of the wood core limbs date back to the early 70's and shows some abuse and neglect. Still no problems.
Will be interested in others experiences.
John
 

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Premium Member
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4,891 Posts
I've had 3 ILF limbs break. All three were carbon foam limbs. One, the Greenhorns, was an obvious flaw in the fadeout glue up. The other two were Hoyts, both were FX I think. One was a result of a flawed tip overlay that let go and let the string pull down through the foam layer like a cheese cutter wire. The other just delammed in the middle of the limb, separating on the front of the limb. Both FX sets were probably pretty old--I bought all three used of course.
I did notice that on both of the FX limbs, once the layers were separated by the breakage, the outer visible edge of the foam layer was discolored compared to the portion that was farther in. Whether this is oxidation/deterioration or not I don't know. Might be due to the foam absorbing some of the finish or age/UV----Might have nothing to do with the damage.

I have any number of wood/glass and wood/carbon limbs both "traditional" bows and ILFs. the ones I've broken or personally seen break are all older bows from the 50's and 60's. I assume that the woods have embrittled and the older glues are simply breaking down with age.

Assuming that the finish is intact so that the wood is still well sealed and that the limb is laid up with modern quality epoxies I'd expect to have a wood glass limb to have a very long life. The syntactic foams are an unknown quantity as are the carbon fibre-epoxy matrix laminate layers; maybe as good as wood/glass, maybe not.

When I complained to Hoyt about my 1st FX breakage--the one with the flawed overlay; I was told they only warranty their limbs for one year for the ORIGINAL owner. After all they said, they have no control over how the limb was used or abused, and more critically "every limb has a lifetime of finite but unknown draw and release cycles"

If I were to be taking a bow into a life-or-death long-term survival situation I'd pick my old carbon-wood limbs hands down---along with a metal riser, my Axis shafts, and Zwicky/Magnus style 2-blade laminated steel heads.
 

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It will be interesting to see how the foam cores hold up to the additional stress of the short hunting risers over time. Will limbs built specifically for the shorter risers have a longer life than ILF limbs built for 23-25" risers is anyone's guess at this point.
 
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