Team USA’s Luge Sled gets Carbon Fiber Makeover

Anthony Sabella – WILX News – February 11, 2014

 If you’re looking for speed in Sochi, look no further than luge.

With riders regularly hitting more than 90 miles per hour, it’s truly the fastest sport on ice. In the last several years, the U.S. has struggled to keep up with its competitors.

“The technology progressed and the level of competition rose to the point where they recognized the fact that they also had to increase their level of technology and their standards of performance,” said Scott Burr, Group Leader of Dow Product Development.

Dow came into play when its research team was approached by U.S.A. Luge in 2007.

“Our sled builder had just left,” said Duncan Kennedy, Technical Director for U.S.A. Luge. “We had an aging fleet of hand-built sleds that lacked that consistency that I wanted to see.”

‘Consistency’ that can be boiled down to a few specific pieces.

“The main part of the sled we’re working on is called the ‘Kuffen’, the German word for ‘runner’,” said Burr. “That’s really the interface between the steel that touches the ice and the sled.

Runners are what the riders use to steer and keep control while going down the track. A sport timed down to a thousandth of a second, precision in the building process is just as important as it is during a run. [click here to read more]