REENPOXY® BIO RESINS FACILITATE SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION PRACTICES FOR ZAG™ SKIS
From a centre of technical excellence high in the French Alps in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, ski manufacturer ZAG™ designs products specfically for backcountry or ‘off piste’ skiing. Their extensive range of Freeride, All-mountain, Freerando and Touring products are sold all over the world and are used by professional skiers in the most extreme conditions. ZAG’s innovative designs and rigorous materials selection criteria has ensured their products consistently demonstrate exceptional quality and performance.
At ZAG, R&D processes & development strategies are eco-friendly oriented. This initiative aims to provide customers with products that are less harmful to the environment through their adoption of greener production processes. Epoxy resin manufacturer Sicomin is integral to this eco-friendly approach and is collaborating with ZAG to support their desire to use the most advanced bio resins available.
Historically, ZAG has selected Sicomin’s SR8500 advanced, multi-purpose epoxy to produce their extra light Touring range. These versatile skis are designed to maintain exceptional performance in deep snow so must be lightweight and supremely strong. SR8500 is a Germanischer Lloyds and Lloyds Registry approved product and favoured by many marine manufacturers as the formulation is proven, reliable and straightforward to work with. In an effort to increase their sustainable production practices, ZAG made the decision to switch from SR8500 to GreenPoxy®33. Part of Sicomin’s range of bio based chemistries, GreenPoxy®33 is a clear system formulated especially for compression moulding techniques.
Sicomin’s GreenPoxy® products range from 28% to 51% bio content with GreenPoxy® 33 containing 35% plant and vegetable matter. All the GreenPoxy® products are certified by the American BETA laboratory and French CNRS and tested in accordance with Carbon 14 measurements (ASTM D6866 or XP CEN/TS 16640).
ZAG skis are produced by Meditec of Tunisia, the composite manufacturer of outdoor and board sports equipment. Meditec already uses Sicomin’s GreenPoxy® resin systems to manufacture Nidecker snowboards with great success. It was therefore a simple transition for ZAG to change to more sustainable production practices with minimal cost implications and no additional training requirements.
Bastien Saillard, R&D Director at ZAG, and the ZAG team have enjoyed trialling the new Touring GreenPoxy® skis in a variety of glacier, powder, hard pack and melting snow conditions. All reports have indicated the skis responded extremely well delivering the same exceptional performance and strength as previous SR8500 versions.
“Our motivating factors have always been and indeed remain the same – to produce powerful and exceptional products that are as light, strong and robust as possible. Many of our customers are seeking the most eco-friendly products available and Sicomin’s GreenPoxy® technology delivers supreme mechanical performance whilst enabling sustainable manufacturing practices”, Bastien Saillard comments.
Sicomin’s GreenPoxy® range is now available to customers in industrial quantities making the switch to bio systems easier than ever before.
An Introduction to the ZAG ZAGREEN Program by Bastien Saillard, R&D Manager, ZAG
The ZAGREEN programme – is ZAG’s commitment to minimizing the impact of our activities on the climate and on nature, all the while generating a local positive impact in Chamonix and the Alps. Our resolution is to take care of our environment today, so we can continue skiing tomorrow!
We achieve this resolution by undertaking a number of steps:
• We have optimized the sourcing of materials to bring them closer to our main manufacturing locations in Poland and Tunisia. Today, the majority of materials are mainly sourced in Europe.
• We have optimized the sourcing of materials to bring them closer to our main manufacturing locations in Poland and Tunisia. Today, the majority of materials are mainly sourced in Europe.• Ongoing research work is also carried out by the R&D department, in order to continue to source efficient yet responsible materials and to manufacture in the safest and cleanest way.
The use of Sicomin’s organic GreenPoxy® 33 resin has allowed us to reduce our impact on the environment without compromising the performance of our products.
Sicomin, in partnership with the Veritas offices, performed a comparative life cycle analysis between GreenPoxy® 33 and it’s comparative system SR 1280, which is the 100% petroleum version. All reports indicated the skis responded extremely well delivering the same exceptional performance and strength as SR 1280 versions. ZAG has vowed to continue it’s efforts towards using products that do not use petroleum and a long-term goal has been set to be able to use 100% plant-based resins.
We are a partner with Sicomin in the development of this new generation of products.