Ski Binding Prototype Designed and Tested with FEA Software
- Friday, 29 February 2008
Weight and strength of plastic and metal components were optimized with finite-element analysis.
G3 Genuine Guide Gear (G3) of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is a specialized manufacturer of backcountry ski and safety equipment — including telemark bindings and accessories, climbing skins, and shovels and saws — designed for guides and avalanche professionals.
Figure 1 illustrates the following eight components of the binding:
- Heel Plate and Carrier — In conjunction with the heel insert, it supports the load of the skier’s heel in both ski mode and tour mode.
- Lower Bearing — Acts as a bearing surface for the latch mechanism.
- Front Bumper — Limits the range of the free pivot.
- Toeplate — Retains the forefoot of the ski boot and has to support the loads transmitted to the binding by the skier.
- H-Body — Keeps the toeplate latched to the lower part of the binding.
- Baseplate — Supports the loads of a skier pulling up and landing on the part.
- Overcentre Link — Pulls the binding into ski mode from tour mode, locking the rear latch.
- Actuator — Controls how the user can switch from ski mode to tour mode by pressing the carbide tip of a ski pole against it.
To help ensure that the binding is strong, light, reliable, and functional, finite element analysis was applied to optimize the weight and strength of structural plastic and metal components, as well as elastomers for damping and spring force. This included the solving of many FEA problems, like flexible tabs calculations and spring force estimates.
Design refinement for the TARGA Ascent touring binding involved more than a year of on-snow testing with G3 engineers and guides. The G3 TARGA Ascent is now in production and available worldwide.
This work was done by Cameron Shute, P.Eng. and product development engineer for G3 Genuine Guide Gear, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, using software from ALGOR, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, click here.