The collar of the new Salomon "Ghost" freerider alpine ski-boot is one of the first applications for an elastomer based in part (27 percent) on corn-based plastic.
Ski-boot collars help provide a secure fit of the boot to the skier and protect the lower leg. They must also be flexible enough to ensure a reliable transfer of movement from the leg to the ski.
"We already knew Hytrel (elastomer) could offer the required performance for the collar of our new âGhost' freerider boots as an alternative to polyurethane," says Pascal Pallatin, alpine boot and advanced research project manager at Salomon of Annecy, France. "The fact that we could now access a grade of the high performance material with a significant renewable content is an additional selling point for our boots."
The new DuPont grade of thermoplastic elastomer, based on corn sugar or other plants, is designated Hytrel RS and is said to provide all the performance characteristics of traditional Hytrel materials. RS indicates renewably sourced.
The properties of Hytrel RS that are of particular relevance to this ski-boot collar application include: excellent flex fatigue, flexibility at temperatures as low as -20C and high impact resistance. The collar is injection molded as a single piece and colored white with masterbatch.