Applications of Advanced Ceramics a special exhibition at
The International Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred William J. Walker, Jr., Ph.D.
Ceramic Engineer and Guest Curator June 24 - September 25, 1997
Ceramic K Skis, 1993 - ceramic fibers interwoven with fiberglass
laminate; K2 Four and Merlin Smark Skis with piezoelectric
components and "twanger"; Raichle ceramic fit ski
The ceramic fibers interwoven with fiberglass laminate improves strength
and dampening of vibrations, allowing better control of the skis.
Piezoelectric ceramic materials have the
property that if they are deformed, they generate an electric field,
and conversely, if they are subjected to an electric field, they
deform. The piezoelectric devices in these skis do both...they detect
vibrations and then act as actuators to cancel them out, so the
skier has better control on the slopes. This "smart materials" technology
was first developed to dampen vibrations in optical components of
the "Star Wars" weapons system. The smart skis, with a piezo control
module by Active Control eXperts, Inc., are the first commercial
product using this technology.
"The Raichle Ceramic Fit System consists of a naturally
ventilated pocket, divided into chambers filled with microscopically
small hollow ceramic balls, in the inner boot. The balls immediately
adjust to the individual contours of the foot when the boot is put
on. The air is forced out of the ceramic pocket when the boot is
fastened and the balls can not shift anymore. In this way, the Ceramic
Fit System gives every foot its individual hold. The result: better
control of the ski and a more direct force of transmission."
Elan SRC Ceramic K Skis (1997) gift from
Alfred Sports Center; K2 Four and Merlin Smart Skis gift from K2
Corporation; Ceramic fit ski boot liner gift from Raichle Molitor