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Polyether vs. polyester shell and cuff

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Boot gurus, i would like you to share some of you knowledge on this subject: the differences in plastics featured in ski boots.

Some consumer plug boots feature polyester shells and cuffs for 2007 (at least according to their websites and catalogs).

I found some info on the differences between polyether and polyester. This is how i see them.

Polyether:
- has good temp. resistance. It will not be affected by temp. changes as much as polyester;
- has low temperature flexibility.

Polyester:
- is not temp. resistant as polyether; It will stiffen up in the cold more than polyether;
- vibratory dampening. : It will be more forgiving than polyester. So i can expect less snow feel with polyester.

If i am correct, the boots which feature polyether shells and cuffs will have better snow feel and temp. resistance than the models which feature polyester.

Thank you.
post #2 of 15
I don't know of any plug shells or Modified Plugs using Poly-ester, maybe the MOJO XP and the Falcon if you consider it a Modified Plug.
Your above findings are correct, the Hydrogen Binding in Poly-Ester gives it better elasticity however the Types of Poly-Ester used in Ski boots is not designed for using in such low temperatures as skiers do, for example, the B.A.S.F. Poly-Ester used by Nordica/Technica/Lowa has a factor five temperature fluctuance between -15 and +15. This means, roughly, your Flex 100 ski boot becomes a 500, at -15.

Poly-Ether with its carbon binding is less elastic, less stable as a P.U. but has proved more useful in ski boots. Under high pressure injection moulding processess it is easy to modifiy it's characteristics in terms of density and durity, thus enabling the flex and response of each desired type of boot.

If you have any other questions, i love this topic, albeit, i'm not a chemist, this is where most of my interest lies in ski boot design, i would love to help further if only to find out more from my sources myself.
Cheers.
Steve.
post #3 of 15
I am aware of 3 plastics used to make boots. Polyether, polyurethane and polyolefin. Most high end boots use both polyether and polyurethane for different flex and weigh characteristics. Polyolefin is a really poor plastic in cold weather. I am not aware of polyester being a significant shell material, but could be persuaded with a link.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
I am aware of 3 plastics used to make boots. Polyether, polyurethane and polyolefin. Most high end boots use both polyether and polyurethane for different flex and weigh characteristics. Polyolefin is a really poor plastic in cold weather. I am not aware of polyester being a significant shell material, but could be persuaded with a link.
Poly-ether, Poly-ester. PU.
Poly-propolyne.
Pebax: Hybrid Poly-etster/propolyne.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Smallzookeeper,

Check out the Tecnica Europe website and look for the Diablo Race Pro 110. They claim that the Race Pro 110 features polyester shell and cuff. The Race 130 features polyether. If i remember correctly, last year's 110 featured polyether. It appears that they are switching to polyester for some models including the Diablo Pro.

Check out the Atomic website and look for the Race Tech CS 110 and 90. They claim that both boots feature PU ester. I think that last year's CS boots featured polyether.

As you noticed, they are still using polyether for the top-of-the-line boots. I do not understand the reasons behind this move to polyester. There must be a reason. I think i read somewhere that polyester saves some money compared to polyether :. Could that be the reason behind this move? :

I did not know that the Falcons feature polyester shells and cuffs. What models are you talking about? I am interested in the Race and 10.

Since you love this topic, could you please tell me/us more about the on-snow performance of polyether vs. polyester? You seem to have some info on the polyester used by Tecnica.
It appears that my findings were correct. Now i know that polyester is much more sensitive to temp changes than polyether. What can you tell me about the sensitivity/snow feel of polyether shell and cuffs vs. polyester shell and cuffs?

Thank you. I am very interested in this discussion because i want to ski boots that have sensitivity/snow feel. The Falcons are on my list but if they are polyester i doubt they will work for me although many people said that the Falcons have great snow feel. Weird. Maybe i am missing something here.
post #6 of 15
OK, i've checked with Atomic and Tecnica. Atomic are indeed using PU Ester in the said, boots. The Diablo from Tecnica has the Pro only using PU Ester. The Black boot.
The reasons for this are to offer a range of flex patterns, the lower resistances using Pu Ester in place of Ether offer softer flex paterns of the same boot. Bizarrely you can by a RT FR 80 in PU Ether, so one can assume the pressure, heat and pigmentation mix is impossible to achive.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
The Diablo Race 110 features PU ester. It's probably the same boot as the Pro w/ a different color and liner.
Yes, the RT FR feature PU ether.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sywsyw View Post
The Diablo Race 110 features PU ester. It's probably the same boot as the Pro w/ a different color and liner.
Yes, the RT FR feature PU ether.

It's a misprint, the Pro 110 is Ether, the Black boot incorperates Ester for pigmintation purposes and achieving the required flex.
post #9 of 15
Ar$e, there are cock ups all over the site at Tecnica, thanks buddy i'll let them know.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

polyurethane

Hi,

Hope you had a great winter.

I received the '09 Rossi ski&boot catalog. For 2009, Rossi will offer a new shell (they claim it is their design) for some of the new models. The boots feature a technology called Sensor 3. I have a question about the plastics they are using for their new shell - polyurethane with a polycarbonate insert. How does polyurethane compare to polyether? and what is polycarbonate? It seems that polycarbonate is a tough, stiff plastic for energy transmission.

Thank you.
post #11 of 15
The polycarbonate is an insert that is co-molded with the polyurethane. It's a little like the resin mixed PU that is in the lower of your Icon. It gives the lower some control over the ski without stiffening the whole boot.

It does not matter what the boots are made out of. As soon as you become one of those guys that insists that polyether is better than polyester, which is better than polyurethane, these companies will change it and your theory will no longer work for you. In most cases they will make adjustments in construction and materials without asking your permission.

Let's see if we can change this thread into the wood core versus foam core in skis just to see how many responses we can get from angry wood core fans!!!
post #12 of 15
Plastics are incredibly important and chosen for many different reasons

Poly-ether/Poly-Ester are Poly-urethane.(PU)covers both types of Polymers. Both Hydrogen Binding and Polar Binding. The third type of plastic being used is Poly-Propylene (PP). To omit the importance of the type of plastic you buy will dramatically effect it's life, response and temperature sensitivity.
post #13 of 15
Smallzookeeper,

I feel your passion for the subject, maybe better to discuss on a different forum. My point is for the consumer they have no choice. You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit.

You are absolutely correct in the differences of the plastics, however boot design is much more complex then the right blend of PU or PE.
post #14 of 15
Many boots, Head and Atomic being the best examples use PP in base models, Head Edge, Dreamthang and Atomic M series (N) and B series. Moving up the range offer the same last, better fittings, better liner and PU. PP is a problem, it can shatter, it wears very badly and is often 'eaten' by ski boot bindings, making them in the short term unsafe. It is for this reason most of the PP models are made for rental (oddly because it's cheap and not durable?!?) and will almost always have replaceable heel and toe pieces. Almost any boot that has a replaceable heel and toe piece will at entry level be made from PP. This information has come to me by way of having spent a small amount of time with Garmont, Scarpa, Nordica, Tecnica, Dolimite and Lowa, where i learned the importance of plastic type in boot design and function. This is where i'm at right now, using different polymers for different parts of boots to reduce weight, costs and improve function. It's a major head feck because i'm not a chemist and thinking about different elements, boiling temperatures, injection pressures/processes is all new to me, i wish i'd listened in school instead of attaching bunsen burners to water taps and hosing down the girls. Back on track, Poly-Carbonate is a fantastic product but is expensive and has very little elastisity. It's hard for a bootfitter to work with but is very durable. As starthaus has said, it's for structure and transfers energy very well. As he also has said this is a 'Passion' at the moment, best looking this stuff up on WIKIPED' or something if you need more in depth info about Polymers, monomers and co-polymers. Fascinating stuff.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
After posting my questions i found that both poly-ether and poly-ester are, in fact, poly-urethane. So Rossi did not say what plastics they are using for their sensor 3 shell.

I started this thread because i was worried that the difference between the plastics used in ski boots was big. I think that there is a difference but mainly between PU and PP. I don't have to worry too much because i ski only high end boots which (should) have quality plastics. My Icon Alu lower is in a very good shape.
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