by Liz White, editor
Texture and tactility featured strongly in the winners of this year’s FSK Polyurethane Innovation Prize, in sculptures with drooping folds and melting globules of polyurethane, and in textured surfaces with a non-slip function, for example.
Two student entries won joint second place of €1500 in the scheme, devised to foster new design by the FSK (the German association of plastic and polyurethane foamers). One was Hagen Ißbrücker’s highly textured skin to apply to surfboards to eliminate the need for repeated waxing.
The other was a group entry from the high school in Munich. Students Martin Kinner, Franz Lutz, Andreas Rutz, Artur Tsavenko and Lukas Wankel, under the leadership of Professor Alexander Horoschenkoff, developed novel PU cores to improve the impact resistance of carbon-fibre skeletons, which can be easily fractured.
Ißbrücker wants to partner with someone who can realise his ideas, in this case a skin with a pattern of knobbly protuberances (see photo). Surfboards are usually waxed for good grip, but waxing has to be done repeatedly with the wax removed and replaced — a costly, labour-intensive approach which is also not very acceptable from an ecological viewpoint, commented Ißbrücker.
The contoured PU surface, which he described as “wave-like,” acts as a traction pad on the surfboard surface.
Ißbrücker used rapid prototyping in the development and tried many different designs to make the mat more…