Capita LCW Snowboard

mountains

Brandon Debot, Katie de la Rosa, Emily van Gemeren

Snowboard top

Snowboard bottom

The Capita LCW (Love Crazed Werewolves), a directional freestyle all-mountain snowboard, is made of polymer and composite layers around a wood core. The layers add strength, stiffness, and prevent the core from absorbing moisture. Each layer, from topsheet to base, is discussed below.

Topsheet - Epoxy Resin

topsheet

The topsheet of the snowboard is made of an epoxy resin. The purpose of the topsheet is to provide a thin, light layer that shields the inner part of the snowboard from moisture and damage and can be imprinted with graphics. The epoxy resin is a thermoset polymer, which is quite durable and vibration damping, important qualities for a snowboard. The graphic is added to enhance the visual appeal of the board.

Fiber Layer - Fiberglass in an epoxy matrix

fiberglass layers

The second and fourth layers of the board are fiberglass. In the second layer, there are six unidirectional sheets of S-glass fibers embedded in an epoxy matrix. S-glass is a structural glass with high tensile strength, which makes it ideal for this layer of the snowboard, which is subject to tension in bending. The epoxy matrix protects the fibers and supports them in compression. The fourth layer of the board has six fiberglass sheets arranged orthogonally to each other to provide longitudinal and torsional strength. Fiberglass is used in recreational snowboards because it is strong and less expensive than other fiber options, such as carbon fiber and Kevlar.

Wood Core - Poplar

poplar

The core of the snowboard is poplar, a dense wood that is also flexible. Flexibility is important because the core needs to be bent and formed in presses during the manufacturing process, and the board needs to have some give when pressure is applied during riding. Poplar is inexpensive and relatively easy to procure. It is often chosen over other woods because of its optimal combination of density and elasticity.

Binding Baseplate - High-Density Polyethylene

binding baseplate

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a long chain polymer made of carbon and hydrogen atoms. It is strong and has a high tensile strength because it has little branching. It is used in the sidewalls and in the binding plate for the snowboard. HDPE is strong, tough, and moisture resistant, and is used for the edge to protect the inner layers of the board from the water and friction that the outside encounters. The binding plate on a board with channel bindings, such as the LCW, must also be water and friction resistant, but this is not all. The force the rider exerts on the board is concentrated where the bindings are attached, so the board needs reinforcement in this area.

Base - Low-Density Polyethylene

base

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) provides a waterproof layer on the bottom of the snowboard that prevents the inner wood and fiberglass layers from absorbing moisture. LDPE has more polymer chain branching than HDPE, which prevents tight molecular packing. It is more flexible than HDPE, allowing the board to bend and flex with the rider. The base of this snowboard is extruded. This manufacturing process produces a nonporous surface which is smooth and fast and requires little maintenance.

Edge - Steel

edge

Steel is an alloy of iron with small amounts of other metals which improve its properties, reducing its tendency to corrode in water, for instance. The ideal edge material for a snowboard will be hard enough to cut through snow and ice when sharpened, and resist rusting. Stainless steel is ideal, but more expensive than other steels. Without advanced materials characterization techniques, we cannot tell exactly what type of steel is used for the LCW edges. The rust spots, though, suggest that it may not be stainless.

Source:

This description was prepared by Brandon Debot, Katie de la Rosa, and Emily van Gemeren and edited by the instructor. Sources used include: