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News

New rugged, lightweight avalanche shovel folds for easy transport in snow country

Du Pont Engineering Polymers : 12 November, 2002  (New Product)
A new lightweight folding shovel made with DuPont engineering polymers promises both convenience and safety for winter sports enthusiasts. Snowboarders can use it to chisel out ramps and half-pipes in ice and snow, and backcountry skiers can take it along to use in avalanche emergencies. The 'Matrix' shovel from Salewa SpA, Bolzano, Italy, weighs just 21 ounces (600 g), and it folds up to allow attachment to a backpack or carrying within. As for durability, Salewa markets the Matrix with a five-year money-back guarantee. The shovel's shell is made of a toughened grade of DuPont Delrin acetal resin. The shell resists cracking upon impact with rocks or blocks of ice when digging, and it can support loads of up to 55 pounds (25 kg) of snow, according to Salewa. Also, it has excellent abrasion resistance and high strength, key advantages for tasks like ice-chiseling and scraping.
A new lightweight folding shovel made with DuPont engineering polymers promises both convenience and safety for winter sports enthusiasts. Snowboarders can use it to chisel out ramps and half-pipes in ice and snow, and backcountry skiers can take it along to use in avalanche emergencies.

The 'Matrix' shovel from Salewa SpA, Bolzano, Italy, weighs just 21 ounces (600 g), and it folds up to allow attachment to a backpack or carrying within. As for durability, Salewa markets the Matrix with a five-year money-back guarantee.

The shovel's shell is made of a toughened grade of DuPont Delrin acetal resin. The shell resists cracking upon impact with rocks or blocks of ice when digging, and it can support loads of up to 55 pounds (25 kg) of snow, according to Salewa. Also, it has excellent abrasion resistance and high strength, key advantages for tasks like ice-chiseling and scraping.

Folded, the shovel measures just 9 inches wide by 15 inches high (23 by 38 cm). It unfolds for use in two positions, full length (35 inches, 88 cm) for shoveling or with the shell locked at a 90-degree angle for snow profiling or chopping. The folding mechanism has parts made of three materials: Delrin, DuPont Zytel nylon resin, and aluminum.

The shovel's highly functional design was conceived by Attivo Creative Resource of Milan, Italy. Attivo's Design Director, Aleksander Tatic said, 'In an avalanche situation, you only have about 15 minutes to dig out a person from the snow alive. Most lightweight shovels need to be assembled, which is very difficult given extreme weather conditions and the very high human stress factor inherent in an avalanche accident scenario. While we envisaged a folding shovel as the answer, our design was only made feasible through the use of Delrin. Because this acetal resin is self-lubricating, it means that we can be sure that the folding mechanism will never freeze over, which could happen in an all-metal construction.'
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