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News

New advanced snowboard binding uses Zytel and Hytrel

Du Pont Engineering Polymers : 21 May, 2006  (New Product)
Nidecker of Switzerland has developed the ACT 1, a new all-polymer snowboard binding on which the heel-cup can be easily adjusted to the precise size of the rider's boot. The patented binding is made almost entirely of two engineering polymers, DuPont Zytel nylon and DuPont Hytrel engineering thermoplastic elastomer. 'On one hand, most all-polymer bindings have a one-piece base and are sold in three sizes, to make up for the fact that they cannot be accurately adjusted for different boot sizes,' explains Arnaud Muscatelli, project manager at Nidecker, one of the first European companies to manufacture snowboards.
Nidecker of Switzerland has developed the ACT 1, a new all-polymer snowboard binding on which the heel-cup can be easily adjusted to the precise size of the rider's boot. The patented binding is made almost entirely of two engineering polymers, DuPont Zytel nylon and DuPont Hytrel engineering thermoplastic elastomer.

'On one hand, most all-polymer bindings have a one-piece base and are sold in three sizes, to make up for the fact that they cannot be accurately adjusted for different boot sizes,' explains Arnaud Muscatelli, project manager at Nidecker, one of the first European companies to manufacture snowboards.

'On the other hand, most bindings that are adjustable for size have aluminium heel-cups; these perform less well on snow and have other disadvantages. Our bindings combine the advantages of both: a light, high-performance all-polymer frame which can be rapidly and accurately adjusted to six different sizes, giving a perfect boot fit and excellent board control.'

For the ACT 1 binding, Nidecker makes the mounting disk, with which the frame is fastened to the board and which allows the angle of attack to be changed, of Zytel 73G45, a rigid, glass-reinforced nylon. The base plate and adjustable heel-cup are made of DuPont Zytel 70G30T nylon, a glass-reinforced and toughened resin with high stiffness and impact resistance at low temperature.

The hi-back is made of Zytel 801ST, an unreinforced super-tough type combining strength and flexibility to give the rider support and control combined with comfort. The side straps are made of Hytrel elastomer, which keeps its flexibility and resilience over a broad range of temperatures. Hytrel is also used for an adjustable shock-absorbing element under the heel.

The size of the ACT 1 binding is easily adjusted by means of a serrated interface where the heel-cup meets the base plate. The two parts are held together by two screws, one on each side of the boot. To adjust the size, the rider loosens the screws, sets the serrations in the desired position relative to each other and tightens the screws again. 'It makes a perfect fit on the boot, and it's all done in seconds,' says Muscatelli. 'DuPont helped us a lot to develop this innovative design,' he adds. 'Their help included advice on the choice of the optimum resin for the parts, design guidance for rapid, trouble-free moulding, mould flow analysis and finite element analysis.'
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