June 18, 2019 Volume 15 Issue 23

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Skateboard features new truck design

Wear-resistant plain bearings from igus are key parts in the "Curfboard," which combines a surfboard and skateboard and requires strength under extreme loads. The Curfboard is designed with a four-hinge suspension in the front truck, so turning hard helps the board accelerate -- just like in surfing.

The 33-in.-long Curfboard with lightweight bamboo deck combines skating and surfing into a new piece of sports equipment aimed at providing "the ultimate surf-ride feeling on wheels."

Developers at Curfboard, a company in Munich, Germany, chose resilient, maintenance-free, and reliable bearings from igus that are made with the company's iglide Z and iglide J350 high-performance polymers. igus is also a company based in Germany, but it runs its North American operations out of Providence, RI.

The Curfboard is designed with axes that do not have rubber dampers or springs. They employ a 4-joint kinematic, which makes them self-regulating. Gravity assists the automatic adjustment to the weight of the rider.

Front truck (front view).



Front truck (side view).



In addition, the board has better response behavior, making it easier to control. The rider does not need to push off to move. Instead, similar to surfing, speed is built by shifting body weight, even uphill. The demands on the components are therefore particularly high.

While the $350 surfskate board stresses its axles and bearings, particularly when cornering, the Curfboard is exposed to continuous stress. Stephan Augustin, the inventor the Curfboard, chose wear-resistant plain bearings from igus.

Augustin carried out a four-month outdoor test under the harshest conditions with bearings from various manufacturers. "After evaluating the test results, it became apparent that only the igus plain bearings made of iglide Z and iglide J350 met the requirements," he said.

Metal/PTFE composite plain bearings wore out after a short time and completely failed, but the iglide plain bearings demonstrated extreme durability.

The bearings also had to be abrasion resistant, corrosion free, and maintenance free -- despite the permanent high loads. The iglide material is characterized by its wear resistance and insensitivity to edge pressure.

Plain bearings made of iglide J350 are used at less-stressed points. The material offers a low coefficient of friction on steel and aluminium and is insensitive to shocks and impacts.

In total, eight igus plain bearings are used in the front trucks. The steering arms and joint axles are made of stainless steel.

In addition, both materials (Z and J350), like all iglide plain bearing materials, do not require any lubrication. Thanks to the solid lubricants embedded in the plastic, the bearing remains completely dry. Dirt and dust cannot easily adhere, and they wash off easily.

Learn more about the Curfboard at curfboard.com.

Sources: igus, Curfboard

Published June 2019

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