Perm scientists develop chemical ‘fast track’ for skiing triumphs

Scientists from Perm State National Research University (PSNRU) in the West Urals have partnered up with Perm Paraffins, a local company, and the Russian Skiing Federation to develop a ‘booster’ to step up the sliding properties of the Dialan PR ski wax, PSNRU announced in its press release. 

The new skiing lubricant is said to have already been successfully tested during the Sochi Winter Games in February and earlier this month.

“We had to cope with the task of ‘stitching’ together different fragments of organic ‘threads.’ We found that the best option was a ‘thread’ comprising 25-28 carbon atoms, haphazardly fluoridated and containing a metal heteroatom or nanomaterial,” explained Alexander Nedugov, Ph.D in chemistry, the head of PSNRU’s chemical technology laboratory.

The effort resulted in developing what the university refers to as “unique highly effective compounds” that improve sliding.

According to the Perm university, all the new ‘booster’ components underwent rigorous testing in Sochi under supervision by Perm Paraffins. Elena Vyalbe, a renowned Russian Olympic and World Cup champion in skiing, is also said to have actively participated in testing.

The Perm developers emphasize that following a series of lab tests, they found that the new synthesized compounds could be used in a range of areas, not only in sports. Haphazardly fluoridated paraffins, improved at PSNRU’s Natural Science Institute, possess enhanced hydrophobic and adhesive properties, being exceptionally water-resistant and capable of sticking firmly to a surface. They are also thermally stable and can withstand temperatures of up to 300 degrees Celsius without losing their properties. The characteristics like these could be interesting to industry, the scientists believe.

In partnership with the Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod in the mid-Volga area, Perm State National Research University is also a member of the US-Russia Innovation Corridor, a bilateral American-Russian initiative providing a fast track for Russian university-originating technology projects to enter the vast U.S. market.