Fluorocarbon-based ski waxes are known sources of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which accumulate in both the human body and watershed during the application and use of many high-performance ski waxes. Fluorine is used to enhance the performance of the ski wax by altering its material properties. This project studies how to scientifically measure waxes' standard of performance and how this standard can be achieved with sustainable, fluorine free ski wax. By comparing commercial fluorine free waxes, we report which material properties are responsible for ski wax's performance and how materials characterization techniques can be utilized to quantitatively compare the performance properties of commercial ski waxes. Additionally, we demonstrate how these characterization techniques can be modified to account for the temperature dependence of the wax and its performance in a variety of snow conditions. Finally, we investigate how the addition of colloidal metals can impact the specific material properties of ski wax. Overall, this project will aid industry face the challenge of creating a sustainable, high performance ski wax by introducing quantitative, rather than qualitative, scientific testing and analysis.
University / Institution: University of Utah
Format: In Person
SESSION D (3:30-5:00PM)
Area of Research: Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Jeffrey Bates