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Polyamide propels Dutch Paralympics cycle team

The Dutch Paralympic cycling team competing at the London Paralympics (from 29 August until 9 September) are using new, ultra-light and strong chains incorporating rollers made of Stanyl polyamide 46 from DSM Engineering Plastics (Singapore).

The Dutch Paralympic cycling team competing at the London Paralympics (from 29 August until 9 September) are using new, ultra-light and strong chains incorporating rollers made of Stanyl polyamide 46 from DSM Engineering Plastics (Singapore).

These new chains were developed by DSM, innovation partner of the Dutch Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF), and the Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU), in collaboration with KMC Chain Europe (Nijehaske, The Netherlands), the world's largest manufacturer of bicycle chains. "This is the future! It's something that all racing cyclists will want to use at the Rio Olympics, and we're already using it now," says Eelke van der Wal, the Paralympic cycling team's coach.

chain

Low friction polyamide chain rollers boost cycling speed.

In a racing bike, the chain rollers are very important because they are the contact points between the sprockets and the chain, transferring the tremendous force exerted by the rider to the wheels. The chain has to be very strong and at the same time it should run smoothly and friction-free along the sprocket. The new chains and sprockets use DSM's Stanyl, a high performance polyamide 46, instead of steel. This means the chains are not only lighter but also move with less friction, which translates into greater speed. 

Stanyl polyamide 46 is already used in a wide range of industrial gear and chain systems, where its low wear, low friction and low weight properties provide customers with a more efficient and quiet replacement for metals. In the future, Stanyl will also be used in the chains of 'ordinary' bicycles. The advantage of using Stanyl is that oil lubrication and squeaking chains will be things of the past.

This summer, DSM presented various Olympic innovations including the boat used by the Women's Eight team that won a bronze medal. The development of this and other Dutch boats on the water at the London Olympics involved the use of state-of-the art styrene-free resins in combination with carbon fibers, resulting in a hull that is 25% stiffer than that of conventional boats without compromising the boat's light weight. Stiffness is important because in rowing, as in cycling, the aim is to translate the athletes' energy directly into speed.-[email protected]

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