Design of a Fiberglass Skateboard

Nowadays, composites materials are frequently used in many domains. For example, their use has permit great progress in the field of aerospace, by reducing the weight and increasing the resistance of many components. If this is an example of highly technologic application, composites materials use has also exploded in much more common domains such as sporting goods: skis, snowboards, sailboats, golf clubs, bicycles, etc. Once again, the advantage of their substitution to traditional materials is their reduction of weight and good mechanic performances. Through the years, skateboarding has evolved in a way that pushed the athletes to perform always more extreme manoeuvres. This automatically induces more extreme solicitations of their equipment, and especially of the board itself. The board is the weak component of the whole skate, and it is not rare to see a skateboarder breaking it. This kind of failure can happen independently of the skateboarder level and the difficulty of the manoeuvre. Skateboarding, even if it has initially emerged in the US during the late ‘60s – early ‘70s, spread all around the world during the last twenty years, and did not stop gaining in popularity. For example in Switzerland, a large proportion of the young people own a skateboard. If some people only use it as a mean of transport, some others practice it as a distinct sport, by performing specific manoeuvres and are more likely to break their deck. Except some evolutions in shape the last decade, the skateboard manufacturing process has not innovated as much as the other domains previously mentioned. The classical manufacturing process of skateboard decks remains very similar to the original one of the last century. It is still based on a few plies of laminated wood glued together in a mould. Even if it exists fiber reinforced skateboard decks, the amount of fibers in these products remains very limited and the market is still largely dominated by the sale of wood skateboards. The first objective of this Master project is to design a skateboard deck made of only composite materials but with the same behaviour as a traditional board. The collaboration to this project of Anthony Bert, a French engineer who worked on static testing and modelling of skateboards, pushed the project toward the initial objective of his work: identify a parameter that can characterize if a board is a good one or not. In order to predict the behaviour of a composite skateboards, the elaboration of a finite element model has also been defined as an objective. The rest of this document is dedicated to the presentation of the work carried out to reach these objectives.

Molinari, Jean-François
Vassilopoulos, Anastasios

 Record created 2018-03-12, last modified 2019-03-17

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