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Hardness of edges?


Justin A.
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I just noticed that the Donek Pilot uses R48 edges, and I'm assuming that because this is advertised, then other boards have softer edges?

Why are our edges so soft? I mean, yeah a R48 edge is harder than say...ice or a plastic edge, but even the crappiest kitchen knife is around R54...Would a rock strike cause more damage to the edge? Don't feel like dealing with forming a high-carbon edge? :confused:

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I thought we may have discussed this before, but I couldn't find a thread about it...search function didn't turn anything up for me.

I think it may be that the softer edges are easier to sharpen, thus making it easier to repair the inevitable damage that us ice-coasters bestow on our edges.

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I just noticed that the Donek Pilot uses R48 edges, and I'm assuming that because this is advertised, then other boards have softer edges?

Why are our edges so soft? I mean, yeah a R48 edge is harder than say...ice or a plastic edge, but even the crappiest kitchen knife is around R54...Would a rock strike cause more damage to the edge? Don't feel like dealing with forming a high-carbon edge? :confused:

Do you use ceramic knives? Maybe a ceramic board edge is in the future. Now don't go thinking they are too brittle -- think out side the box.

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Do you use ceramic knives? Maybe a ceramic board edge is in the future. Now don't go thinking they are too brittle -- think out side the box.

Ceramic is WAAAAAY too brittle. Whether you're outside the box or in it, the advanced ceramics used to make knives are just barely damp enough to withstand repeated chopping and tapping. Besides the fact that you need something harder than the ceramic to sharpen them (industrial-grade diamond) and since the HRc of my Kyoceras is in the 69-74 range, there isn't a whole lot out there, which is why I'm starting to build a kit of high HRc japanese steel knives, but I digress. The idea of ceramic edges is great...never have to sharpen them, blah blah blah, but you could use the board on glaciers, never on anything with a chance of a rock nick. good luck buffing that one out.

Edit: But now you've got me thinking...thanks Al.

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Fisher ( I think it was fisher tried ceramic) in the mid 90's the edge was much wider. Any of you old ski guys remember this? I was at a show once where the rep had like 5 different edge materal even had ceramic on on edge and steel on the other so he could just switch skiis and have the new edge. I looked at the ceramic and saw it was full of chips. The rep said he could just buff them out with a diamond stone. Never saw ceramic again.

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Fisher ( I think it was fisher tried ceramic) in the mid 90's the edge was much wider. Any of you old ski guys remember this? I was at a show once where the rep had like 5 different edge materal even had ceramic on on edge and steel on the other so he could just switch skiis and have the new edge. I looked at the ceramic and saw it was full of chips. The rep said he could just buff them out with a diamond stone. Never saw ceramic again.

Hmmm. kinda reminds me of the Tucker Automobile 1948 or so, gatling gun, composite airplanes, disc brakes, fuel injection, cvt transmissions, variable valve timing, solar energy, windpower, and a few mechanism projects I worked on over the years. I believe all of the above at one time someone said "We tried that before and it won't work" :biggthump

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Another thing to consider is the cyclic loading. A knife doesn't have to flex back and forth over and over and over. What is the hardness of something like a fillet knife compared to that of a snowboard edge?

as bordy said way back the ski industry played with it Pre had segmented edges that were supposed to be harder or something but I don't remember the details.

Allot of these things are great ideas but often the materials are not up to par yet or or consistancy of batches of materials are too hard to control and in other cases just too expensive. Other thing to remember is that the ski industry sometimes is staunchly opposed to change the snowboard industry is starting to level off these days as can be seen with board shape for example except with very specific models for specific purposes even then the super taipered pow boards have been around for six years now.

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Why are our edges so soft? I mean, yeah a R48 edge is harder than say...ice or a plastic edge, but even the crappiest kitchen knife is around R54...Would a rock strike cause more damage to the edge?

Harder = higher strength = more brittle = more difficult to form (wrap around nose, etc...) = decreased toughness (ability to absorb energy/impact)

Then you can add in things like an increased susceptibility to stress corrosion cracking, etc..., etc..., etc...

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segmented edges....Flites up to 92-93 had them R54-58 was the hardness...they were a PITA because you had to have left and right edges and they didn't like fakie riding at all...putting on the brakes. Now when you ripped out a edge it was pretty easy to repair, because of the segments and repaired edge was nearly as strong as the original. But IMO the rise of switch riding pretty much killed the snowboard market for segmented edges

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I think you'd be hard pressed to find anything other than Rockwell 48 edge material in the US. Today there is only one importer and I believe he imports one profile. It's all the same stuff. There are other materials out there, but you just don't see them that often. Some race skis use a smaller edge because the steel is supposed to generate more friction than the base. In my experience people generally want as much steel left on the board as possible.

As has been pointed out above, harder edge material becomes more brittle. Hitting a rock would shatter something harder.

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Not sure if this was discussed before but what about titanium (or some other hard exotic metal)? Is that a realistic material to use or would it be too hard to tune, too expensive to manipulate?

Just curious

FWIW - My grandpa used to work for NASA and also had an exotic metals machine shop in Houston TX. He would have these HUGE lathes and piles of metal shavings in his shop. I was a kid then but if I remember correctly he was making custom parts out of whatever material someone had requested - titanium, boron, etc. So this stuff always grabs my curiousity.

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Not sure if this was discussed before but what about titanium (or some other hard exotic metal)? Is that a realistic material to use or would it be too hard to tune, too expensive to manipulate?

Exotic Ti alloy ~40HRC

Typical Ti alloy ~27HRC

So, not only is the Ti softer, it would likely require a thermal stress relief procedure after forming to the curvature at the nose of the boards.

No, there are not really any other options that are economically feasible. All things considered, steel is relatively inexpensive and does the job better than the majority of other materials available.

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Fisher ( I think it was fisher tried ceramic) in the mid 90's the edge was much wider. Any of you old ski guys remember this? I was at a show once where the rep had like 5 different edge materal even had ceramic on on edge and steel on the other so he could just switch skiis and have the new edge. I looked at the ceramic and saw it was full of chips. The rep said he could just buff them out with a diamond stone. Never saw ceramic again.

You talkin' about the "Plasma Edge"? I'm pretty sure the ceramic never made it to market. But the Plasma Edge was a hard sucker. Was nice 'till it got dull then was pretty much impossible to sharpen with regular stuff.

dude, I'm not old! LOL

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Let try something way out there in dream world..

Let have a metal edge that has a T groove in it so you can slide in a very narrow sliver of an extruded sharpened edge. this way you can just slide in a new sharp edge or better yet change your tune angles morning and afternoon. Just think you'd never have to take it in for an edge grind just replace the sucker while watching the national news with a glass of red. :biggthump

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