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Optimized custom-made ski sledges
Date:2/6/2013

iversity of Freiburg, Germany attach markers to various parts of the athlete's body to map the sequence of movements. Sensors in the poles measure the transmission of energy while the athlete pushes off. The results are fed directly into a simulation program which then creates a bio-mechanical model. This model then allows the rough geometry of the seat to be derived. For the detailed design, the athlete is scanned in three dimensions under exertion. An additional simulation enables the experts to analyze areas where excess weight can be saved without affecting the stability of the material. This optimized lightweight prototype is then manufactured in a generative manufacturing process in other words, directly from the design data which means the cost of the sports equipment is kept within reasonable limits.

Normal racing skis can be attached to the sledge. "However, the skis move differently under the sledge than they would do during normal skiing. They are only being moved in a straight line", adds Scherge. "This must be taken into consideration during the grinding process". For this reason, the IWM researchers have developed special ski grindings for use under ski sledges in collaboration with Montana. In this case, at the end it is still necessary to carry out a fine tuning process which is specially adapted to the individual athlete. For example, the weight of the athlete affects the surface in contact with the snow. In terms of ski coatings, Prof. Scherge and his team have many years of experience in international elite sports at their disposal. Coatings developed by IWM ensure that the skis are able to glide through the snow with minimal friction.

The project planners intend to use the time until 2014 to optimize their developments. In doing so, the consortium is open to additional co-operation with interested parties. Prof. Scherge also hopes that the paralympics will also create an impetus in terms of recreational sports. "It would be ni
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Contact: Matthias Scherge
matthias.scherge@iwm.fraunhofer.de
49-721-464-0750
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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