look what we did!Innovations From Polyurethane Manufacturers

Photo credit: Trak Kayaks
Photo credit: Trak Kayaks

Collapsible Kayak Offers the Ultimate in Portability

A new kayak from Trak is redefining portability by moving from a rigid shell to a unique skin-on-frame design. In the works for more than a decade, the combination of carbon fiber, aluminum and polyurethane is designed more for a car trunk than a car rack.

To set up the Trak 2.0 kayak, a user simply wraps the removable skin — made of military-grade polyurethane — around the collapsible frame to make the kayak watertight. A hydraulic tensioning system enables it to be precisely tightened to the rigid structure.

Packing down to 41 x 19 x 9 inches and...

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Category: Athletics

Slam Dunk! Polyurethane Is on the Court

Today’s professional basketball courts vary widely in their design, subflooring systems and staining, but two things are (almost) always the same: the hardwood used to make them and the polyurethane used as a finish.

Hard maple (acer saccharum) is used in major league U.S. and Canadian basketball courts except Boston’s, which uses red oak. Maple is generally chosen because it’s very hard, but very light in color, which makes it easier for players and spectators to see the ball.

Regardless of whether the floor is bare, stained or painted, high-gloss polyurethane is used as a final finish. It provides strong...

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Category: Athletics

National Park Rangers Rely on Polyurethane

Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872 — the first park of its kind in the United States and possibly the world. Today, Yellowstone’s park rangers are responsible for protecting and preserving the park’s lands, and they perform a number of duties in the rugged terrain, which spans Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

From maintaining trails to rescuing wayward travelers, park rangers rely on a variety of versatile equipment made with polyurethane in order to make their jobs easier. Spending most of their time outdoors, park rangers need gear and clothing that is tough, protective and lightweight. Polyurethane...

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Category: Apparel, Athletics

How Polyurethane Transformed Winter Sports

Elite athletes from around the world have dreams of out-performing the competition and achieving lasting glory. But today’s super-human feats of speed, grace and skill owe a debt to the advances in chemistry that have transformed winter sporting equipment.

For example, early waterproof fabrics were made of cumbersome, heavy rubber. Now, athletes enjoy lightweight nylon and polyurethane fibers that repel snow and sleet while still allowing moisture to evaporate.

Skis once made of wood, metal and leather are now made with a polyurethane core and synthetic fiber coatings that increase strength, minimize weight and reduce vibrations for a smoother ride.

...

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Category: Athletics

Polyurethane is Our Choice for MVP

It won’t get to hoist a trophy or enjoy a ticker-tape parade, but polyurethane will still play a vital role in the big game this Sunday. 

On the field, polyurethane’s impact starts with the most important piece of equipment — the ball. Inside most footballs is an inflatable, three-ply polyurethane bladder, which gives it both durability and a consistent feel. On the players themselves, stretchy, sweat-wicking polyurethane in the uniforms will help keep them comfortable as the game goes on, while polyurethane will feature in their cleats as both a cushioning foam and an adhesive. Polyurethane even features in some...

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Category: Athletics

Re-energize Your Resolve with Polyurethane

If you’re like many people, you want to try to be healthier and work out more. Whether your goal is part of a recent resolution or an ongoing lifestyle choice, the winter months can challenge even the most devoted of exercisers. Mixing up your routine can help keep you motivated and provide new health benefits as you exercise different muscle groups. Polyurethane can help!

Floor and yoga mats, commonly made from polyurethane, can help to make hard surfaces comfortable and less slippery. Stair and rowing machines, as well as stationary bicycles and weight benches also tend to rely on polyurethane...

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Category: Athletics

Printed Golf Grips Reshape the Game

Learning the correct grip for your golf swing can take years of practice. But a student engineering team from Virginia Tech may have discovered a shortcut. They have created a customized, 3-D printed grip that helps guide a golfer’s hands into the correct position.

Students made clay molds of players’ hands in the correct position and then 3-D printed them to create a grip that can be slipped on and off a club. While the grips are not allowed in regulation play, they act as a training aid to help golfers build muscle memory and get more consistent results without...

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Category: Athletics

New Midsole Puts a Spring in Runners’ Steps

When it comes to running shoes, it’s what’s in the midsole that counts. The midsole needs to provide optimal stability and cushioning to help support the punishing pounding of mile after mile. Many traditional midsoles are made from other lightweight materials. However, over time, the material compresses and loses its cushioning.

Enter a new midsole made of polyurethane, which naturally expands, returning energy to the runner after force is applied. In a regular shoe, most energy is converted to heat, which you can literally feel in the sole of the shoe after a tough workout. But with this new...

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Category: Athletics

How About Active Friday?

Today, millions of people will awaken in the middle of the night to wait in long lines and find the best deals. But imagine a Black Friday alternative: Heading out into the peace and beauty of the great outdoors to hike, ski, bike or run.

Thanks to polyurethane, outdoor and athletic gear helps keep us comfortable, warm and dry even in less-than-ideal outdoor conditions. Lightweight, breathable and stain resistant, these fibers are well suited for outdoor pursuits. From jackets and leggings to sneakers and boots, much of today’s active wear relies on polyurethane to perform its best.

So go...

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Category: Athletics

Making Surfboards from Recycled Plastic

Polyurethane foam is often used by car manufacturers during the early design phase. The foam is used as an armature on which clay models can be shaped and reshaped. But what happens when the design phase is through? One car company has a solution: recycling the material for use in professional-grade surfboards.

The polyurethane skeletons are recovered after the design process is finished and reformed into blocks that can then be shaped to precise dimensions for use in products like surfboards. The boards are being tested by English women’s open surfing champion surfer Lucy Campbell.  By recycling the polyurethane, the...

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Category: Athletics