@creative minds: carbon strut useful for mountaineering?

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@creative minds: carbon strut useful for mountaineering?

by creative_ideas » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:54 pm

Dear creative minds,

I am a business grad student from Germany and I currently have a very interesting project running, for which I would like to ask for your expertise. The project is in corporation with an aviation company, who are looking for alternative applications for a product.

The product is a strut assembly similar to a carbon-telescoping pole.

• Material: carbon
• Size: 1m – 1,5m (made in three sections and can be extended and retracted as necessary for use and collapsed for storage or transport)
• Weight: 600g
• Fitting system: like a trekking pole (frictional- and tight fit)
• No wear out!
• Lifting capacity per strut: max. 140kg (capable of both, pulling and pushing)
• The material and the dimensions of the strut can be modified

The big benefits of the product are, that is very light and insensitive to temperature, pressure, water and humidity.

Can you think of any application for the strut in the field of mountaineering/climbing? Since it is very light and insensitive to pressure and cold, I though it could perhaps be used for expeditions at high altitudes as poles for tents? However, you are the experts, and probably have better ideas. :)

(As for now, please do not consider costs or detailed technical feasibility.)

I am grateful for anyone who comes up with creative ideas and constructive criticism.

Kind regards

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Re: @creative minds: carbon strut useful for mountaineering?

by ExcitableBoy » Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:42 pm

Hi Sven,

Carbon fiber trekking and ski poles are currently available, however, they are quite expensive and are prone to catastrophic failure. In situations where aluminum poles would have bent and still been serviceable, I've seen carbon poles shatter.

Carbon fiber shafts for ice tools are wonderful and have proven to be an ideal material for that application. I think a carbon fiber telescoping snow shovel shaft for back country skiing would be awesome.

I know after market carbon fiber replacement poles for tents are available, but are an additional expense and do not have the track record that industry standard Easton aluminum poles do. I think for a telescoping pole a potential application would be for supporting floorless shelters (Black Diamond Megalight, Betamid, Betalight, etc.) They would have be entirely rigid with no or very little flexion.

I use a floorless shelter extensively and currently use trekking poles to support it. If carbon fiber poles were significantly lighter and reasonably priced I would consider trying them. Because I am an altruistic person, I would be happy to field test a pair of telescoping poles for use with my floorless shelter. I think they only need to be 140cm at most. PM me and I will give you my mailing address.


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Re: @creative minds: carbon strut useful for mountaineering?

by creative_ideas » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:49 am

Hi EB,

sorry for the late reply and thanks a lot for your input!

I think your idea to use the carbon fiber poles to support floorless shelter is great. Unfortunately I cannot send you the poles in order to test it, since I do not have any poles here nor the right to distribute them. This is currently only a project at my university and the poles belong to a company However, once I have presented to them my ideas for alternative applications, and they like the climbing application, I will refer to you.

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