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Hands-down, the best protection.

Using DuPont's Hytrel thermoplastic polyester elastomer (TPE) in an ergonomic design, the new Flexmeter wrist guard protects snowboarders from injury while allowing maximum wrist mobility. Dr. Marc-Herve Binet, president of France's Medecins de Montagne, worked with DuPont to select a grade of Hytrel that provides the correct balance of stiffness and flexibility for effective shock absorption and mobility.

According to Dr. Binet, the Flexmeter, which fits over the dorsal (back) side of the snowboarder's wrist and fist, "absorbs high loads occurring in dorsal flexion during snowboard falls." Biomechanical studies of the way snowboarders fall and the injuries sustained led Dr. Binet to conclude that, "because of the way [snowboarders] are moving and the forces that occur when they fall on the snow, there is substantially more hyperflexion in the dorsal direction." Compared to skateboarders, he said, snowboarders break their wrists significantly higher up the arm.

Hytrel affords this protection without impeding the snowboarder's activity. While the material's flexibility allows for mobility of the wrist, says Dr. Binet, its strength allows for the "economic molding of a form-fitting guard that's thin enough to wear under standard snowboard gloves."

Dr. Binet's team also worked on refining the Flexmeter design with Skimeter of Publier, France, which now manufactures and markets the wrist guard. The company supplies two models: One is used with a separate glove; the other is a glove with a built-in dorsal splint. In the future, the company plans to launch models for free-style snowboarders that provide both dorsal-side and palm-side wrist protection.

DuPont Engineering Polymers; (800) 441-0575; www.plastics.dupont.com
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Title Annotation:Plastics Applications
Author:Molinaro, Hope
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2004
Words:261
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