DTU students create a sustainable snowboard with the help of DTU Wind Energy

Thursday 26 Sep 19
Snowboards may be a burden to the environment, in the production as well as when they are discarded after use. Three students from DTU Mechanical Engineering is trying to do something about this matter and in cooperation with a development engineer from DTU Wind Energy, among others, they did their bachelor project on a sustainable version of snowboards for a grade 12.

Outworn fishing nets and bio epoxy
The three engineer students, Anders Daniel Rousing, Jia Jue Johannes Chen and Christoffer Søholm Kristensen had an interest in snowboarding beforehand and they wished to create a snowboard which, unlike conventional snowboards, did not harm the environment. Their completion of the bachelor part of their studies at DTU at spring was a welcome opportunity for investigating this. In cooperation with the Danish companies Plastix and Vitasheet they manufactured the flat parts of the snowboards which were made of outworn fishing nets and linen fibres. The glue for assembling the parts for the snowboard is epoxy and the students wished this to be sustainable, too. The idea was to use bio-epoxy which is less harmful to the environment compared to conventional epoxy. Unlike other kinds of epoxy it does not originate from oil as 80 % of the bio-epoxy is bio-based.

However, the students lacked the skills and facilities for gluing the parts with the bio-epoxy. Through the students’ own network they got in touch with Malte Markussen from DTU Wind Energy who was able to help with assembling the snowboard. Malte is used to working with epoxy adhesives, which also require special facilities, such as a powerful suction, which DTU Wind Energy has got. Additionally, the department has the specially approved facilities for the additional handling and storage of chemicals, such as the epoxy. These are located in the newly created BladeLab that is being used for research on wind turbine blades and part of the Large Scale Facility at DTU Risø Campus.

“Great that we find each other here at DTU”
Not only the students benefit from the collaboration. Malte is happy about the students, too: “The students are contributing to the researchers at DTU Wind Energy with unconventional issues”, he says and continues: “The collaboration with the students can help you not to get too locked into your usual thinking. It is just great that we can find each other here at DTU ”.

According to Malte, the students expressed great enthusiasm for the collaboration, partly because they gained access to the facilities at DTU. “Getting things made in composite is quite unique, because it requires a lot of knowledge and special facilities. Usually, that is no go for the students”, he explains.”

Equally important to the students was the experience that even non-traditional projects across departments and areas of interest can be done.