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News

Cool snowboards

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 14 October, 2004  (Company News)
Although most snowboarders don't always like to admit it, design is an important consideration when it comes to choosing a new board. The fashionable motifs are normally printed in mirror image on the inside of the films that are then applied to the snowboards.
Exel, a manufacturer of sports equipment based in the Upper Bavarian town of Rohrdorf, now manufactures these films for several Völkl snowboards using an aliphatic variant of Desmopan®. This grade of the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from Bayer MaterialScience AG does not yellow, even after long exposure to the sun, which is why the UV protective coating normally applied to the film surface is not required. This in turn means a relatively expensive production step is eliminated.

'The good mechanical properties that TPUs are well known for and the material's lightfastness totally convinced us,' says Adalbert Loidl, technical plant manager at Exel (www.exel.fi). TPU is an ideal material for the icy mogul piste and deep snow because it is both flexible and extremely impact-resistant at low temperatures. It is also highly abrasion-resistant. 'Aliphatic Desmopan® films will catch on in other sports and industrial applications thanks to their combination of properties,' says Jens Ufermann, head of the Coating and Films segment in the TPU Business Unit at Bayer MaterialScience, confidently.

The exceptional print quality of TPU films means that practically any design idea is possible. The design, positioned on the inside of the film, looks really 'cool' because the material is extremely transparent. Aliphatic Desmopan® films can also be enhanced using fine grain patterns. And as no UV-stable coating is subsequently required, these fine structures retain their detail.
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