You're right, Ann, it seems like composites are a good choice of material here for helping make this fascinating expedition a success. What possibilities will the outcome of the expedition have to affect future use and development of composites, do you think?
It does sound like an excellent choice of materials, but like a really unpleasant place to visit. Of course part of that is just that we are ending winter here in southeastern Michigan and I am quite tired of our winter weather. I have used UHMW PE, but not such a high grade as this, and it is a material that should not give them any problems. I hope that the carbon fiber materials are just as durable.
William, I don't envy you those Michigan winters, but the two guys doing this expedition are extreme athletes, and like that sort of thing. Thanks for the input on UHMW PE--I'm not at all concerned about the carbon fiber composites, considering what they can do in military aircraft and sports equipment.
It sounds like the material choices for this gear is well chosen. I hope that the picture isn't indicative of the actual equipment used. Nothing is worse than trying to find anything white in a snowstorm. I hope they keep their gear close at hand. I'd hate to lose track of a white sled on an arctic expedition.
I did not know that about golf clubs...interesting. (Then again, it's not really my sport!) Sleds I suppose might be a lower-volume product, unless it was used for consumer sleds and not just ones used for extreme excursions like this one! I suppose there could be uses for other sporting equipment as well? Skis? Snowboards? Already being used?
I think you're right about it being an unpleasant place to visit, William K. I just checked on the Internet, and the temperature in Svalbard (which is where the location of Spitsbergen, I believe) is -2F right now. On Thursday, though, the temp will soar to 12F.
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
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