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New Twintex mountain rescue stretcher made out of Twintex has been developed in an all-French collaborative project.
Saint-Gobain Vetrotex, Comitech and TSL Sport Equipment have been cooperating for several years to manufacture a mountain rescue stretcher made of Twintex, which will be available for sale in Autumn 2005.
Tests conducted by the R&D departments of Saint-Gobain Vetrotex and Comitech during the spring and summer 2004 on the second stretcher prototype have pointed towards benefits in weight and strength, with function and aesthetics being acclaimed by both partners and end-users.
The products development started back in 2001, when the snowshoe manufacturer, TSL Sport Equipment, was contacted by the High Mountain Police Department (PGHM), the “Chamoniarde de Sécurité” and the Valdotain Alpine Rescue to build rescue stretchers in composites to replace their 20 year old existing equipment.
TSL chose Comitech as a partner by virtue of their familiarity with the benefits of Twintex, and set about investigating the use of Twintex with Saint-Gobain Vetrotex’s R&D teams. Together they studied the feasibility of the project and selected the Twintex vacuum moulding process which offers improved mechanical resistance and complied with TSL’s specifications. The tests were conducted in three stages:
1. Check the “sliding ability” of Twintex. by mounting it on an old stretcher;
2. Make the first prototype by incorporating a metallic structure and foam with Twintex. First results are very positive and far superior to the performances of a classic stretcher;
3. Confirm initial results with a second, lighter prototype.
More tests will be conducted during the coming year by French and Italian mountain rescue teams before the product is released at the end of 2005.
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