Teflon-infused waxes reduce friction for skiers and snowboarders
By Mike Hanlon
February 2, 2009
February 3, 2009 Now here's a good idea! Zardoz has introduced Teflon-infused hard waxes for skiers and snowboarders which reduce friction between the ski or snowboard base and the snow. This means better speed and turning control in any weather condition. The new wax comes in two formulas - one for warmer, moist snow and one for colder, dry snow.
Poly(tetrafluoroethylene) or poly(tetrafluoroethene) (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer best known by the DuPont-owned brand name Teflon.
The coefficient of friction of plastics is usually measured against polished steel. PTFE's coefficient of friction is 0.1 or less, which is the second lowest of any known solid material (Diamond-like carbon being the first). PTFE's resistance to van der Waals forces means that it is the only known surface to which a gecko cannot stick.
PTFE was accidentally invented by Roy Plunkett of Kinetic Chemicals in 1938 while he was attempting to make a new CFC refrigerant. Kinetic Chemicals patented it in 1941 and registered the Teflon trademark in 1944 with the first commercial sales in 1946. DuPont acquired Kinetic Chemicals in 1950 and thre Taflon brand name became a household word with the advent of the non-stick frypan.
“Having your base (of your sonowboard) treated with Teflon, gives the base of a ski or snowboard enhanced hydrophobic characteristics,” said Hank Krause, president of Zardoz Products. “That allows the rider to glide faster than on traditional waxes.” Skiers and snowboarders create a fine layer of moisture droplets caused by the friction of the equipment moving across the snow. The Teflon® in the Zardoz waxes interferes with the natural surface tension of this moisture. With less surface tension, the moisture creates less “suction” between the base and the snow. As a result, getting through flat sections of a trail is easier and race starts are faster. Zardoz also manufactures Zardoz Notwax a 100% pure liquid Teflon ski and snowboard base treatment. The company’s newest hard waxes are believed to be the only Teflon-infused hard waxes on the market.