The Mammut Sports Group, based in Switzerland, has substantially advanced its range of locating devices for rescuing winter sports enthusiasts who are buried in avalanches. The range of devices has recently been expanded to include two Barryvox® transceivers (transmitter/receiver) with optimized technical and construction characteristics, including a case seal as well as casing parts made of polyamide and a thermoplastic elastomer compound (TPE) using multi-component injection molding. A compound from KRAIBURG TPE is used here, featuring excellent adhesion to polyamides (PA) and thus providing the life-saving device with outstanding sealing quality and consequently a high degree of operational reliability.
Mammut, a Swiss manufacturer of outdoor equipment, is regarded as being the pioneer and market leader in the field of avalanche locating devices. The new technology used in the Barryvox® transceivers enhances precision and speed in locating skiers and ski-tourers who are buried in avalanches. The brand name commemorates “Barry, the lifesaver” – the legendary avalanche search and rescue dog at the Great St. Bernard Hospice that helped locate hundreds of avalanche victims in the early 19th century.
In addition to integrating pioneering locating technology, Mammut has also optimized the handling of the new Barryvox® device. The case shell with its rear side elements is made of a TPE/PA compound construction that is processed using multi-component injection molding without additional bonding agents.
The flexible TPE – a THERMOLAST® K compound from KRAIBURG TPE – not only provides pleasant touch characteristics but also contributes significantly to the devices’ non-slip single-hand/glove handling. The soft component is also used for the internal case seal.
“The major criteria for choosing this thermoplastic elastomer for our new Barryvox® transceivers were its mechanical properties, its good grip and, last but not least, its reliable adhesion to polyamide,” says Ilari Dammert, Senior Product & Project Manager for Avalanche Safety at the Mammut Sports Group. “The TPE compound selected meets all of these requirements to a high standard and in particular features superb low-temperature flexibility, which is a must for devices used at temperatures down to –25 °C. In addition, we were impressed by KRAIBURG TPE’s excellent service in choosing and color-matching the material.”
The TPE compound was specially developed for adhesion to polyamide. KRAIBURG TPE has many years of experience and comprehensive expertise in the technology of hard/soft applications. The manufacturer’s wide range of products provides many options. The materials can also be matched to various hard components and do not need any bonding agents when they are injection-molded onto semi-crystalline polymers such as polyamide.
The Barryvox® devices also underline the uncompromising commitment of both manufacturers to safety and sustainability. By choosing THERMOLAST® K from KRAIBURG TPE, Mammut has opted for a material produced in accordance with ISO 14001 (environment standard) and ISO 50001 (energy standard).