03. March 2020

Wood K plus revolutionizes high-tech ski production

In the Hahnenkamm race, one of the most demanding downhill skiing races in the world, skiers reach speeds of up to 150 kph. To do this they need not only stamina, technique and courage: the equipment also plays a vital role. Skis are truly high-tech products. To manufacture them, so-called duromer pre-preg is often used. This is composite fibres that have been pre-impregnated with special polymers (thermoplastics and thermosets).

With this material, products can be manufactured that are particularly robust, high-performance and light. It is used to make lightweight components in the automotive industry, for instance. Although it has many advantages, working – and especially storing – the material poses a number of challenges. Thermoset pre-preg must always be kept in cold storage at temperatures of around -20° C and thawed before processing. Despite being deep frozen, as it were, it can only be stored for a maximum of 6 to 12 months – something that the “DryPrepregs” research project aims to change.

In future it should be possible to manufacture these high-performance materials using thermoplastics or thermosets in powder form, which are ideal for further processing in a variety of different production processes. In the research team, Wood K plus is working with leading companies from the field: the ski manufacturer ATOMIC, R&D Consulting for 3D printing and RAC as experts for fibre placement.

Photo: iStock