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What is the metal edge of ski made of?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Anybody knows what type of steel does manufacturers use to make the edges, and what hardness are they?

It seems to me the edge is very soft due to the fact they can be filed, and manufacturers could do a lot better. Something like high carbon steel or even stainless steel hardened to 58 HRC, would be a lot more durable, and even rust proof. Something like 1095 or 12C27 would be pretty damn cheap and work well too.
post #2 of 21
 I used to know this back in college -- did a whole study on it while taking a materials science class -- but damned if it's gone totally out of my head (was 20+ years ago I suppose).  I would think a google search would turn up the specifics.  But to answer your second point, there are reasons for the alloys, treatments, and carbon levels in typical ski edge steel, and those reasons have been honed over the decades (no pun intended).  The edges need to be tunable, and they need to be ductile to some extent, both for manufacturing and for usage in skis that flex and take impacts from rocks (with associated heat/hardening effects), other ski edges, etc.  You definitely would not want to go with a harder, more brittle steel, or stainless steel.  Both would go in the wrong direction for the needs of skis.
post #3 of 21
post #4 of 21
Manufacturers have played around with edge material over the years, I remember Atomic used a super hard steel in their edges for a while... it was impossible to de-burr.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Interesting. My other hobby is knives so I have some experience with quite a few steels.

Take 12C27 for example, it's used in swedish mora knives, which is extremely cheap (less than $5 each retain in sweden I heard) and high performing, so that would mean material cost is minimal. It's definitely tough enough to take impact while hardened to 57~58, I've batoned it through knots in wood and the edge only rolled not chipped. Mind you that was at 20°, at 89° it would be almost bomb proof. A diamond hone will tune it just as easy, and if it doesn't burr at 20°, it wouldn't do that on ski either. At the thickness of ski edge, I'm sure it can flex as much as the ski is capable of. Plus it would be virtually rust proof on a ski.

So is my reasoning flawed in someway?
post #6 of 21
Re: Steel graded to be 12C27. "I've batoned it through knots in wood"

Please see. The paper on the "batoning" of steel, subset, at either 20deg or 89deg, whether or not you prefer celsius or farenheit.

Submitted by jsmtl whether he believes his data and reasoning to be flawed or not.

chuggachugga.

There go a few more grains o salt over my shoulder. LOL
post #7 of 21
Yeah.

Flippin Kryptonite.

You crack me up, Whiteroom.

Why don't you guys just organize a pantsing exercise behind the stadium bleachers and get your fluffin jollies off?

Or take a gd machining course at your local trade school, ya dimwits.

Splain it lay terms, ace. If you are so fluffin' technical.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post

Interesting. My other hobby is knives so I have some experience with quite a few steels.

Take 12C27 for example, it's used in swedish mora knives, which is extremely cheap (less than $5 each retain in sweden I heard) and high performing, so that would mean material cost is minimal. It's definitely tough enough to take impact while hardened to 57~58, I've batoned it through knots in wood and the edge only rolled not chipped. Mind you that was at 20°, at 89° it would be almost bomb proof. A diamond hone will tune it just as easy, and if it doesn't burr at 20°, it wouldn't do that on ski either. At the thickness of ski edge, I'm sure it can flex as much as the ski is capable of. Plus it would be virtually rust proof on a ski.

So is my reasoning flawed in someway?
I'm sure you can completely revolutionize the ski industry
post #9 of 21
LO fluffin L.

Thanks, ecimmortal.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PolePlant View Post

Yeah.

Flippin Kryptonite.

You crack me up, Whiteroom.

Why don't you guys just organize a pantsing exercise behind the stadium bleachers and get your fluffin jollies off?

Or take a gd machining course at your local trade school, ya dimwits.

Splain it lay terms, ace. If you are so fluffin' technical.
 

Not sure what you are on, but I had to read through your posts twice and still don't understand it completely.

But just for you

HARDER STEEL = STAY SHARP LONGER

Clear enough?



Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post



I'm sure you can completely revolutionize the ski industry

 

It's just a damn question and curiosity, nobody made you read if you don't like it, and certainly nobody made you reply.

Seems every forum has its share of d-bags and I just found epicski's share. 
 
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post

Seems every forum has its share of d-bags and I just found epicski's share. 
 

Don't sell Epicski short, that's not nearly all of the D'Bags.

I think your question was very valid, I also think one of the reason for not using harder steel is that it can be more brittle and that it can be much more difficult to sharpen once it does lose it's edge.
post #12 of 21
Follow the money - there's no incentive for manufacturers to build indestructible skis.  It's pretty much like planned obsolescence in my opinion.  They want their skis to wear down over time so that you'll want to buy new ones. 

I'm not a materials science guy, but I'd be surprised if there isn't a way to build a high performing super durable ski with our present technology.  I for one would love to see skis built to last with super hard and fast bases and more durable topsheets.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
I'm not a materials science guy, but I'd be surprised if there isn't a way to build a high performing super durable ski with our present technology.  I for one would love to see skis built to last with super hard and fast bases and more durable topsheets.

I don't know about planned obsolescence.  Modern high-performance skis are usually good for at least 50-100 days on snow, which is a LOT for most recreational skiers.

You could probably make them more durable and still perform well, but they'd be more expensive.  Maybe much more expensive.

Or you might be able to make them the same cost (or cheaper) and more durable, but there would probably be performance issues.  e.g. the flex patterns would be 'wrong' in some way, or they wouldn't be as fast in some way, or they'd be much heavier, or hard to tune/wax, or something like that.
post #14 of 21
I (and all of the king's men) skied on a pair of colledge-owned Atomic F-6 Performance "blue sleds" @185 for years, and they stayed sharp. Never, noone filed the edges on 'em. They're still skiable, after ~23 years, just their bases don't look good :-) My father skied them this year on ice, and found them bearable. Now that's an edge!

As for the downside, their weight is... Well, they're heavy. Funny, i used to carry them in my hands (not on my back, because i had Abalakov-style backpack with no straps) for upto 1000 meters vertical when i was young and started to ski sidecountry.

IMHO, the ski industry definately can do better, but they surely won't.
The industry needs you to buy new skis every season.
And ethernally sharp edges are no help in this.
It's really that simple.
post #15 of 21
I find it incredible that my Beta-carve 9-26 with the black base that are about 8-9 years old have no rust on their edges despite being outside on my ski wall for many years, yet my 170 cm 11-20 on the left and my Mikey Mouse skis, the 150 cm SL-11s on the right have rusty edges. My wife's have the same rusty edges. And they are stored inside. I tune all my skis myself.

I wish manufacturers or reps who have a way to ask them were on this board. The pictures show them.

...Ott









post #16 of 21
That was a very cool "experiment" Ott.  I would love to know what those edges were made out of exactly.

I wish we had more manufacturer participation on this forum (heck - any of the skiing forums).  It's a two way street - both would benefit and I regularly see how it works very well on the guitar forums I frequent.  Too bad the ski manufacturers don't feel the need to participate in public forums (except for some of the small builders and they're mostly only over on TGR).
post #17 of 21
IIRC some vendors tried using denser steel but had a flex (less flex) trade off.  Then some went with sections of edge with little gaps.  I'm thinking that was probably way too expensive to be competitive.
post #18 of 21
'cracked' edges (segmented) had  a a problem of the segments getting pulled out. It happed to me with Head XR-1s. I miss those skis from a collector's perspective.
post #19 of 21
I remember those Atomic skis with the higher chrome content, Atomic told us shops it would keep them sharper for longer but a file then wouldn't sharpen them, they also didn't show any sparks when run over an edge sharpening machine, they did appear to stay sharper for longer but as the steel was way more brittle it also saw almost all of them crack fairly quickly and then the ski started to delaminate, most were replaced under warranty, and as far as I know that steel wasn't used again.
Personally although I do like to sell new skis, I would also like to see edges last a lot longer, it seems rocks are hard and edges are not able to resists damage when they strike a rock with a lot of force.

As for rust on edges, stored correctly edges do not get rust on them, most of the time I see rust on edges is when they are stored in damp surroundings or kept in a closed ski bag after use, keeping a set of skis in dry environment will keep the rust away, and only use you zipped up ski bag when the skis are fully dry or for the short trip to and from the resort, it is best to take them out of the bag or leave it unzipped as soon as you can when you get home.
post #20 of 21
Ancient Roman swords are in better shape than my 19 year old car.
My early '70s Dynastar GS have more durable edges than modern skis.

I too smell a rat, Ott.
post #21 of 21
Like most things in life, there are trade-offs.

I have only retired a ski once due to edge failure or wear. That was a Dynastar Altiplume that was specfically designed to be ultra-light for randonee competitions in Europe. I over flexed it on a creek crossing and the edge cracked under foot. Durability was a secondary or maybe even teritiary design consideration for that ski.

Most of my skis are retired due to badly cracked sidewalls or heavily damaged bases. The edges keep up with my abuse fairly well. Not race sharp or smooth, but they work and I could return most of them to original sharpness if desired.
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