February 2018: Olympic Winter Games
Starting on 9th February and continuing through to the 25th 92 nations will participate in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Athletes will compete in 15 different winter sport disciplines, ranging from ice hockey to the luge. Raw materials are used in every sport you’ll see in the worldwide competition this February, but we’ve chosen to look deeper at the raw materials used in one of the sports that is enjoyed in leisure as well: skis.
The oldest skis date back as far as 6000 BCE. In the Middle Ages, they were used for winter transportation by soldiers as well as doctors, midwives and clergy whose work frequently required trekking through harsh conditions. Skiing became a popular sport around the 1940s, and their design has evolved drastically since then.
High quality skis are now made of multiple materials, including wood, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and steel to give skiers ultimate control and flexibility. The inner core is the most critical part of a ski because it defines its character. Wood is the tradition material to use, but manufacturers have also developed high performance foam as well as aluminium cores. The other layers of skis use fiberglass, carbon fibers and epoxy. Finally, steel is manufactured into the edges of skis to give skiers control.