20 March 2012
20 March 2012
Magine Snowboards and Skis have developed a biocomposite snowboard using Composites Evolution's Biotex flax fabric. The novel construction includes a wooden laminate core, sandwiched between two layers of Biotex flax fabric and a top and bottom plastic layer, all bonded together using an eco-epoxy resin system.
Magine, who are based in Newfoundland, Canada, were looking to develop a product in keeping with their core values - freedom of expression, good times and support of the snow sports community - whilst differentiating themselves in the market place.
Magine had been working towards developing a bio-fibre composite snowboard through a working partnership with the Composite Innovation Center in Winnipeg (CIC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the University of Winnipeg (UoW). It was through this relationship that Magine was introduced to Composites Evolution at the end of 2011.
Steve Wheeler of Magine explains that "Our community is very environmentally conscious where snowboarders are inherently connected with their environment through the sport. On a larger level, global warming and its detriment to the sport also drives us. Therefore, we looked to do our part through developing a more sustainable snowboard, while maintaining the same quality and ride characteristics we all love and enjoy."
After extensive testing and research with the help of CIC, NSERC and UoW, Magine selected Biotex for its favourable properties. Prototypes were tested in house, developing a flex profile and comparing to current models and, after six months of development, the snowboard was finally tested on snow, at a local ski hill in Western Newfoundland. "The initial test was so successful that our team rider – Josh Keiough – didn’t want to give up the prototype" Wheeler explained. "The bio-fibre snowboard responds, flexes and edges well. Its flex pattern and light-weight make it very comparable to freestyle snowboards for grinds and aerial manoeuvres. With the incorporation of the bio-fibre composite material, it stands above many snowboards on the market as a more sustainable product compared to fibreglass and basalt composite snowboards."
Magine uses a clear top sheet that allows the natural look of the flax fibre weaves and the wood core to create a raw, earthy, aesthetic product, designed to promote sustainability and their commitment to their customers' values. Magine expect to offer a line of bio-fibre snowboards during the 2012-2013 snowboard season.
Brendon Weager, Managing Director of Composites Evolution, comments “With this biocomposite snowboard, Magine has successfully harnessed the performance, sustainability and aesthetics of flax fibre. We look forward to supporting them in the launch of this novel and exciting product.”
Composites Evolution will be displaying a bio-fibre snowboard built using Biotex fabrics at the JEC Europe next week.
The UK's Engineering Industries Association (EIA) and the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) have received confirmation of government funding for UK engineering companies to exhibit at overseas trade shows.
R-Tech Materials is teaming up with Zwick Roell to run an introductory training course on mechanical testing of composites.
NTPT is collaborating with the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne - Swiss Centre of Technology (EPFL) and other partners to research discontinuous fibre composite tubes for high performance applications.