The Ceramic Art Museum at Alfred University, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University
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Conspicuous 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

skis and boot liner

Elan SRC 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 boot liner
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 USA, Inc.

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