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Basalt

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Can someone please explain how you would make a ski out of rocks, and also, why you would want to? I can't quite wrap my mind around this even though I live near one of the country's largest asbestos mines.

post #2 of 7

think carbon, carbon fiber.

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Can someone please explain how you would make a ski out of rocks, and also, why you would want to? I can't quite wrap my mind around this even though I live near one of the country's largest asbestos mines.


Aren't all metals basically rocks at heart?
post #4 of 7

Basalt's no more weird to use in skis than fiberglass. You can melt and extrude basalt into fibers, weave or chop them, use for everything from electrical insulation and fireproofing to structural reinforcement: http://www.basalt-mesh-fiber.com/

 

Seem to recall basalt fiber is lighter and less likely to break with flex than fiberglass, as strong as carbon but damper and easier to mold. Also far cheaper. Very common in earth's core. Read here? that the one oddity is you can't alter its characteristics as you produce it, so you have to hunt down particular deposits that have qualities you want. Think the stuff for skis all comes from eastern Europe. 

post #5 of 7

I just skied some 2012-2013 Lib-Tech models (including their "Magic HorsePower" NAS version using basalt fiber instead of fiberglass) with very similar geometries back-to-back on hardpack conditions, and I have to say the difference was outstanding.  The basalt-layered ski was lighter, significantly more responsive, snappy, frisky and waaay more fun than the similarly-shaped ski using fiberglass in the layers.  I am a natural skeptic to anything that rings of a gimmick in ski design or materials ("Amazing - now with our exclusive and secret poly-razmataz gadget, doodad or ingredient")...but this basalt really made a huge difference. I don't know how its durability is over repeated stress-destressing in the flex of a ski, but I noticed a huge difference.

 

LibTech_MagicHP_2012_2013_Full.jpg

 

LibTech_MagicHP_2012_2013_Tips.jpg

 

post #6 of 7

^I'd like to strap those guys on and tip them on edge @ a HRS.

post #7 of 7

Similar to carbon fiber in performance.  Half as exotic at about a quarter the price.  IMO, probably the first long-term winner I've seen for new ski materials I've seen in awhile.  But only probably!

 

Developed in response to the demand for carbon fiber just flat out exploding every year.  Production capacity is having a hard time keeping up (or maybe isn't even quite keeping up).

 

One of the contributors to this forum has a great pictorial of basalt that is unfortunately buried in another thread.  It's worth digging out, but I came up empty with a quick search.

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