How are skis made? A 9-episode video series.

Dave Petersen

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Episode 8
Fiberglass


 

Dave Petersen

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Episode 9
Topsheet


 

geepers

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Pretty much nonsense. There’s no such thing as “race room titanal”. The aluminum alloy sheet trademarked Titanal and made by AMAG comes in different thicknesses. You can pick which ever. There’s a reason race skis use metal, but I doubt any current consumer available gs race ski approaches the stiffness of the race skis of the straight ski era that had no metal.

The RC One 86 GT is really impressive in it’s torsional stiffness, i.e. ability to hold an edge on steep solid snow. It’s not a beginner ski, and is probably best appreciated by upper intermediate to advanced skiers. But it’s not a punishing ski outside of that range. Just go demo it, even if you have your B game that day.


Well it is more than just aluminum, it’s an aluminum alloy. It’s a bit like walking up to an airplane and saying, “that’s nothing more than aluminum”. (You can make airplanes out of wood too)

One of Titanal’s important properties is being able to bond with resins. The surface is treated for that.

Carbon fiber and fiberglass cloth is pretty floppy, and the wood cores used in skis would not support your weight probably by itself. The sandwich gets pretty strong once you bind everything together with resins.

Even big airplanes can be made of wood!

View attachment 173093
View attachment 173092
Howard Hughes’s Spruce Goose, 1947
Made almost entirely of laminated Birch wood. Pretty impressive.


Can't help but think a plane that made one (and only one) flight and never got out of ground effect is not such a great example.

Maybe something a little more successful....

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James

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Can't help but think a plane that made one (and only one) flight and never got out of ground effect is not such a great example.

Maybe something a little more successful....

View attachment 173207
View attachment 173208
Nice. Yes, I was going for the Brobdingnagian example for the shear insanity of it.
Very impressive to build almost 8000 of those. I wonder if it was quieter in there or like a drum.

No floppy aluminum-

Fuselage built in two halves!
I guess the first composite airplane. At least in quantity.
 

Tricia

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Are there any skis with the exact same layup except add metal?

There’s also the thickness of the metal that’s rarely mentioned, though early Kastle (the redo) gave the thickness of Titanal in different skis
Yes. K2 Mindbenders were offered in metal and non metal versions.

And I had the opportunity to ski a prototype of the Renoun Z90 with and without metal when they were producing the 157 length.
That was interesting.
 

James

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Yes. K2 Mindbenders were offered in metal and non metal versions.
Right but we don’t know the amounts of anything. As Cyrus was saying, just a small change in core thickness can change things a lot. So that could be slightly different or there’s more or less fiberglass etc. It’s impossible to know what the exact recipe is outside of the factory.
 

Swiss Toni

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Further, it is often referred to as "Race Room" titanal.
As well as thickness the difference between "Race Room" Titanal and non "Race Room" Titanal could be phosphoric acid anodizing (PAA). In order to cut costs some manufacturers use plain Titanal that is mechanically abraded before use, this sometimes results in adhesion gaps. Atomic only uses PAA Titanal in a few of their skis, the other large manufactures likely do the same.
 

GregK

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2019 Bushwacker and 2019 Brahma are identical except for 2 sheets of titanal(probably.5mm) in the Brahma Vs an
carbon sheet in the Bushwacker.

Like every ski that does this change, weight and torsional stiffness effected more than longitudinal/bending stiffness. Metal Sheets(around .5mm) are around 125-150gr an average width and length ski and this skis above differ about double that amount so it lines up.

Bending vs Torsional stiffness



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James

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2019 Bushwacker and 2019 Brahma are identical except for 2 sheets of titanal(probably.5mm) in the Brahma Vs an
carbon sheet in the Bushwacker.
You think. There’s no way to know they are “the same” besides the addition of metal vs carbon fiber. It’s more likely than not they are not the same.
It’s kind of irrelevant also. It’s completely different construction. Many variables in a “carbon sheet” too.

Given the exact same ski but different examples off the rack vary by 10% or more in stiffness, (@AlexisLD ?) small things matter.
 

AlexisLD

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Yes. K2 Mindbenders were offered in metal and non metal versions.

That is a good example. In the 163 and 170 cm lengths, both the bending and torsional stiffness are increasing between the C and Ti version. Bending stiffness changes by about 20% and torsional stiffness by about 50%. Yes there is a higher percentage change in torsional stiffness, but we generally see about 2x more variation in torsional stiffness than we see for bending stiffness so that is just expected. Mass in increasing by about 20% also.

We still have no idea if K2 just added the titanal to the C version to create the Ti. However, what is clear is that there is a change in bending stiffness that people would feel. The change in bending stiffness between C and Ti is as important as going to the next length in the other version.

For the 177 lengths, only the torsional stiffness and mass change between the C and Ti version. This supports Cyrus generalization. However, given that you can find exemples both ways it is not really that "general" of an observation.

What all that supports is that you shouldn't try to interpret how a ski will behave just from the list of materials.

Screen Shot 2022-07-12 at 12.06.51 PM.png
 

GregK

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Doesn’t need to be exact same to show it follows the same trend of every ski using metal.
“Flavours” the flex and less than you’d think but adds great dampening and weight. Up to the manufacturer how it changes the other ingredients in the ski but they know if they incorporate metal exactly what it will do.
 

Tricia

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When I ski on a metal and non metal version of a ski I notice dampness and torsional engagement more than I notice added stiffness.
Those attributes lean toward confidence inspiring turns.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Cyrus Schenck

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So, I love the honesty you use in your "choosing a ski" blog on your site. In the edge video, you point out that 1.8 mm edges are for weight or cutting costs. I saw that at least the endurance 88 and 98 have the 1.8 edge. Can you talk about that choice in those skis?
Hi Jeronimo. Good catch!! The website is incorrect — we use 2mmx2mm edges (always have). In the video, I should have stated a thin/cheap edge is ~2.0x1.5mm and a thick edge is 2.5mmx2.5mm. Fixing this on the site asap.
 

Scotty I.

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As well as thickness the difference between "Race Room" Titanal and non "Race Room" Titanal could be phosphoric acid anodizing (PAA). In order to cut costs some manufacturers use plain Titanal that is mechanically abraded before use, this sometimes results in adhesion gaps. Atomic only uses PAA Titanal in a few of their skis, the other large manufactures likely do the same.
Thanks Toni. I didn't understand a word you said.
 

locknload

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Summarizing all this as a non-engineering layman...what I hear you guys saying is there are a lot of different ways to make the sandwich: you will have a top bun and a bottom bun and will have all the core elements to include some meat, cheese and some kind of dressing or mayo to keep it from being dry. In the end, how you combine all the elements..the amounts and layers etc determines how good that sandwich will taste in the end. Its not a matter of just taking one thing out and you an calculate exactly how it will change its taste. Maybe not the greatest analogy...but that's what I take away from this conversation. I also learned a lot about the basics of ski construction...well done @Cyrus Schenck ...thx for sharing your knowledge with us. It was very useful.
 

GregK

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Have always thought the sandwich construction of skis are very similar to an actual edible sandwich. After a while, you learn certain ingredients that you do and DON’T like in either.
When I see things like Paulownia used instead of Poplar wood as the “lighter wood” in a resort ski that’s a no on the ski sandwich!
 

Swiss Toni

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Thanks Toni. I didn't understand a word you said.
Sorry Scotty, Aluminum alloys don’t bond well without a surface treatment. The preferred surface treatment is phosphoric acid anodizing (PAA), a process invented by Boeing and described in ASTM D3933-98(2017) Standard Guide for Preparation of Aluminum Surfaces for Structural Adhesives Bonding (Phosphoric Acid Anodizing). AMAG the Austrian company that manufactures Titanal offers phosphoric acid anodized Titanal but it is considerably more expensive than plain untreated Titanal.

An alternative to PAA is mechanically abrasion (sanding, shot blasting etc.) which is pretty cheap to do, but the bonds resulting from the use of this method aren’t as strong, as consistent (adhesion gaps) or as durable as the bonds produced using PAA Titanal. This probably doesn’t matter for all mountain skis that are only going to spend their lives skidding round the blue / red runs in large Alpine ski resorts, but might well be an issue for "Race Room" skis.
 

James

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. I live the fact that some will cut a a hole in the metal and call it "technology"....lmfao....seems like a scam to call it that.
At least it’s real. It’s the ski industry, meaningless claims and “technologies” are everywhere. “Flip core” ?? Everyone building small boats could say they’re using flip core technology.

No one bats an eye when the head for Fischer North America talks, in perfect English, about the “titanium” in their skis. Now “titan” in German is titanium, but anyone involved with skis knows Titanal is an aluminum alloy.
Technically, the Titanal does have titanium in it. It has so little though, that AMAG in their general public info, doesn’t even list it. But @Swiss Toni posted the patent, and it actually has small amounts of titanium in it. I want to say it was .02%, but can’t remember.

FC9D64D2-59EC-4EAE-AD4C-E576C38CEC9D.jpeg

what I hear you guys saying is there are a lot of different ways to make the sandwich: you will have a top bun and a bottom bun and will have all the core elements to include some meat, cheese and some kind of dressing or mayo to keep it from being dry. In the end, how you combine all the elements..the amounts and layers etc determines how good that sandwich will taste in the end.
Pretty much. Two people using, “two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, and a sesame bun,” could come up with very different big macs.

Its not a matter of just taking one thing out and you [c]an calculate exactly how it will change its taste.
Such things are likely done to a certain degree with worldcup race skis. Change one thing and test. It requires testers, time, and money.
It’s not F1 racing, so there’s a pretty limited amount one can do.

 
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David Chaus

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' ll
Pretty much. Two people using, “two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, and a sesame bun,” could come up with very different big macs.
I believe it was two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
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