Here’s a sneak peek from Michael Brooke, editor of Concrete Wave. Its a little Q&A about our new ThermoGlass and ThermoCarbon construction and features a very not-so-gangster photo of this guy. I’m so stoked about this technology and excited about all of the new boards featuring it including the SportsterPRO39, BoomboxPRO42 and Ratmobile36.
We asked Ryan Daughtridge, Founder and President of Bustin Boards, to give us the scoop on their new ThermoGlass and ThermoCarbon construction process.
Whats the idea behind your new ThermoGlass and ThermoCarbon boards?
Our goal when we set out on this project was to create a process that can be done here in the USA that would allow us to produce a lighter, longer lasting board with more precise flex patterns and rigidity while sticking to materials, compounds and formulas that don’t hurt our employees or our environment.
How exactly does the process work?
Well, to start with we take 3 or 4 plys of choice Sustainably Harvested, Great Lakes Maple (you can other woods but we like Maple because its local and its got the best pop) and soak them in a proprietary thermo-active formula that is the magic behind these boards. Later, under heat and pressure, this formula will expand and absorb throughout the layers, taking the place of any glue or resin that would otherwise be needed. From there we individually layup the panels with several layers of a fiberglass or carbon fiber cloth so that each board gets equal pressure, equal heat and equal perfection. Now the sandwich is stacked and ready for the super press! I’d like to say exactly how hot and how much pressure, but we should leave some things to the imagination of all of our friendly competitors. Let’s just say its pressed much hotter and with much more pressure than a typical skate press. It is under this extreme pressure and heat that the coal becomes the diamond. The wood and fiberglass/carbon layers meld together so intensely that the new product is neither wood nor composite. It’s like a maple, fiberglass, carbon-fiber casserole (more easily described as ThermoGlass or ThermoCarbon). In fact, the makeup of the materials is so are so altered after it’s pressed that the only way to break apart the layers is by melting down and straining out the wood and fiberglass/carbon-fiber particles. The trimming process is next and is more-less a standard CNC process other than the specially developed carbide bit to handle the rock-hard ThermoGlass or ThermoCarbon composite that is created.
How is this eco-friendly?
The beauty of this process is that it uses no glue or resin and is, on the contrary, at least partially recyclable. Just as I described above, any of these boards can be melted down to liquid form and the material separated. The thermo-active formula can then be re-used for more skateboards (or more military equipment but preferably not) and the wood can be broken down and recycled as pulp.
What does it all mean for the boards that feature this technology?
Similar to varying formulas used in wheel urethane, the thermo-active formula that we use is really where the magic of each board happens. We essentially create a special formula for each board depending on what we want it to do. The fiberglass and/or carbon fiber layers help create stiffness and/or flex properties, but it is the formula interacting with the layers that dictates how each board feels. For our stiffer, race-ready boards we dialed it to be very, very stiff both longitudinally and torsionally, while for some of our freestyle and push-specific boards, we dialed it to be more lively, creating flex and/or pop depending on the board.
Whats next for this technology and Bustin?
Oh boy, don’t get me started on that yet. Let’s just say cracking this formula and this process has been like a blind man gaining sight and having sex for the first time on the same day! I wake up on most days thinking about what else we can do with this technology.