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Effectiveness of Ski Wax Treatments in Sintered Ski Bases Using Different Temperatures and Application Methods of Ski Wax

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Lindi Hopkins

This project has focused on application temperatures and methods on sintered ski bases. It is believed that sintered bases have a higher porosity, allowing for better absorption of ski wax. There is a tradeoff with this method as it is more expensive to produce than extruded bases, sintered bases are generally reserved for higher performance skis, such as those used by alpine racers and heavily experienced hobbyists. Ski waxes have been formulated for different conditions of snow primarily cold, warm, and all-temperature waxes. While there has been extensive testing of these waxes' characteristics, there has not been extensive research on varying application methods and subsequent temperatures. This project delved into application methods and characterization of ski base samples using tribology, hardness, and contact angle testing to obtain data that can be translated into a more effective wax for consumers. Tribology measures the coefficient of friction between the base of the ski and the snow. Results from tribology testing can determine mechanical and thermal stability of the base, this testing could be enhanced by the use of a rheometer that tests coefficient of friction as a function of temperature. Hardness testing, specifically Shore A hardness, tests hardness as a function of temperature which can give insight into how ski wax hardens onto the base. Contact angle can be obtained using the Sessile drop technique, this can help describe the friction factor snow has on sliding velocity, surface roughness, and surface pattern. There are many types of ski wax, recently a large number of brands have stopped producing fluorinated wax as there has been recent environmental concerns revolving around PFOA found in fluorinated waxes. This project utilizes waxes without PFOA to stay relevant with the current transition. In addition, there are many waxing techniques, which can vary from application temperature to the process in base treatment before and after waxing.
University / Institution: University of Utah
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #B8
SESSION B (10:45AM-12:15PM)
Area of Research: Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Jeffrey Bates