The Development of a Low Profile Alpine Touring Binding
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
The design of alpine touring ski bindings has remained relatively static for the past fifteen years. During this period, the lack of innovative breakthroughs has become obvious through the number of customers who are currently unsatisfied by the products available on the market. This observation has presented a significant commercial opportunity to satisfy these users, plus many more non-consumers, with an innovative binding design. The objective of this project was to design a low profile alpine touring binding with the aim of satisfying the needs of these users. The resulting design followed a full year of research and development in the field of alpine touring bindings. Not only were concepts formed from completely untethered and open minded thinking, but they were also formed from reviewing various designs that already existed. These designs ranged from previous alpine touring bindings that either failed or succeeded in the market for various reasons, to completely unrelated mechanisms and designs forms. Through this process, several well formed and feasible design concepts were obtained which potentially met the design specification requirements of both high performing alpine touring bindings and downhill bindings. Detailed design and analysis followed, along with the manufacture of a fully functional prototype. This was then tested and evaluated to determine the project as a success. This project can be grouped only with a small amount of research ever conducted on the topic of alpine touring bindings. The findings, discussion and results of this work can therefore be used as a benchmark for future study into this field. Through the meticulous research conducted on skiing and ski bindings and the thorough design work carried out towards producing a prototype, this thesis presents the complete process of designing a new and innovative ski binding.