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Materials for Snowboard - Essay Example

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Snowboarding is relatively a recent sport and is similar to surfing, skateboarding, and Skiing. This game is believed to be initiated around the 1950s by a few surfing and skating enthusiasts who used home-made boards to surf on the snow. Initially this adventure proved to be very costly in terms of body blows, bruises and broken boards…
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Materials for Snowboard
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Download file to see previous pages It had a rope attached to the front tip of the snurfer (board) which offered the rider some control, and there were steel tacks poking through the upper deck for putting the rider's feet in place. Snowboarding then gradually started gaining popularity in the 1970's and 80's, when Snowboarding pioneers like Dimitrije Milovich, (East Coast surfer), and Jake Burton Carpenter unveiled new snowboard designs, related materials and machineries. The development has been quite phenomenal since then. By the end of 20th century there are hardly any Ski-resorts around the world without the snowboarding facility. This game has so far gained more popularity in Europe and USA, with rapid stride in other parts of the world as well.
Snowboards are generally similar in construction with exception to some tooling modifications. Some designers think that Cap Construction enhances edge hold on hard snow and generally improves board responsiveness while others contend that caps are harder to repair if the sidewall is damaged. Both types have proved their merits though.
Snowboards are categorized into groups like race, alpine, all-mountain/all-around/free-riding and half-pipe/free-style depending upon the style of snowboarding. Snowboards are fabricated from advanced composite materials. Composites are combinations of two materials. One of the materials, called the reinforcing phase, is in the form of fibers, sheets, or particles, and is embedded in the other material/s called the matrix phase. The reinforcing material and the matrix material can be metal, ceramic, or polymer. Typically, reinforcing materials are strong with low densities while the matrix is usually a ductile, or tough, material. The eight main materials in a snowboard are:
Topsheet with printed graphic
Fiber glass or epoxy
Wood or foam core
Steel inserts
Plastic base, (P-tex)
Metal edges
Resin Sytsem (glue)
Rubber Foil

Anatomy of Snowboard
The length of metal edge on the Snowboard which touches the snow is the effective part that is used to make a turn. So, it does not include the edge of the tip and tail. The effective edge is in contact with the snow when the board is in a carved turn. A longer effective edge makes for a more stable, controlled ride; a shorter effective edge makes for a looser, easier turning board. Contact points are the points at which the board makes contact with the snow without the pressure of the rider being displaced on the board. This is also called the board's "wheel base".

Snowboard construction also differs in the type of materials used in several layers. A Snowboard is constructed in the following steps;
i. A layer of UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight) polyethylene or plastic commonly known as P-Tex (its brand name) is placed at the bottom of the board. This provides the slippery surface that makes the snowboard slide on snow. During the winter months wax is added to this base to keep it running fast.
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