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Salomon uses Delrin

Du Pont Engineering Polymers : 12 February, 2004  (Company News)
Global sports equipment manufacturer Salomon, based in Annecy, France, chose DuPont
PP3 is the codename for a well-known, ‘bombproof’ Russian submarine. Salomon chose the name to communicate that the PP3 KURB resists shocks and potential damage from small stones. This is a step-change from previous snow skate models that makes it virtually ‘indestructible’.

Snow skating was launched in the USA about two years ago. The main difference from snow boarding is that the user is not attached in any way (i.e. by bindings) to the board. This gives the snow skater an even greater feeling of freedom, according to fans of the new winter sport.

Salomon’s international snow skate marketing manager, Remi Finiel, says his company chose Delrin® for the ski section of PP3 KURB for several important reasons: “DuPont’s acetal resin is 10 times tougher than high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the industry standard material for ski running bases. It therefore provides significantly improved mechanical resistance against the small pebbles that could damage previous snow skate models. There is often the risk of such damage in a ski resort village environment.”

DuPont’s acetal resin is flexible while remaining stiff and strong. This means that users can flex the ski by pushing down on the rear of the maple wood deck and complete significantly more complex and impressive jumps and tricks than with previous snow skate models, with more agility, so that there is no need to grab the board manually for complex and daring jumps.

The design freedom given by Delrin® also means that Salomon could design side channels into the ski section for added stability when the user wants to ride over soft, mountain snow. Meanwhile, in order for users to use their snow skates in the evenings, down in the resorts, central ‘grind channels’ are included in the design for extra stability when the user is ‘grinding’ along handrail sections of skateboard sites.

The retail price was another important factor in the design and launch of PP3 KURB. The value-in-use introduced by incorporating Delrin® means that the snow skate ski retails at Euro 149, which Finiel believes affordable for most teenagers in the target market.

Francois Salomon, his wife Jeanne and their son Georges set up the Salomon company in Annecy in 1947. The company was acquired by Adidas in 1998. Salomon’s company turnover was USD 160 billion in 2001, up from USD 130 billion in 1996. It is a leading supplier of Alpine ski bindings, Alpine boots and Nordic skis, as well as skis, snowboards and outdoor footwear, worldwide.
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