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Thermo-formation process of plastic shells for winter sport boots for improved comfort

Abstract

We have performed a study on the thermo-formation process of plastic shells of boots for winter sports. The aim of the work has been to determine how the process parameters can improve the ergonomic and thermal comfort for athletes and winter sports participants. We have found that the initial deformation and memory effect are strongly influenced by the type of thermoplastic material used, heating time and cooling procedure. We have also found that the ovens currently used for this process are not correctly designed to obtain an efficient heat transfer and, therefore, a heating time of at least 12 min is necessary to achieve an average deformation of more than 2 mm. The measure of the boot flexural stiffness has shown that there are no changes in the load–deflection behavior after the thermo-formation process of a ski boot made of thermoplastic polyurethane. We have also found that the thermo-formation process decreases the pressure on skier’s feet of more than five times and, therefore, improves the comfort of the skier.

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Correspondence to Martino Colonna.

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Colonna, M., Pazi, N., Moncalero, M. et al. Thermo-formation process of plastic shells for winter sport boots for improved comfort. Sports Eng 20, 275–282 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12283-017-0247-9

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Keywords

  • Ergonomic comfort
  • Thermo-formation
  • Thermoplastic polymers
  • Winter sport boots