What is the difference between Extruded and Sintered Snowboard Bases?
There are two main types of bases. Extruded and Sintered. Without going into much detail, extruded is cheaper and sintered is faster.
Extruded bases are popular because they are so much cheaper to make. They do not absorb a lot of wax and are more difficult to repair. This is because they are created by an ‘extrusion’ process much like pushing a chunk of play-doh through a square hole. The result is a block of p-tex that can be cut to the necessary width of a board.
Sintered bases are made up of tiny ground up pellets of p-tex that are crushed and put back together under high temperatures. This process creates a much stronger molecular mass and will absorb wax and bond better to new p-tex for stronger repairs.
Other Types of Bases
The p-tex in both extruded and sintered forms can be combined with additives like fluorocarbons (a speed additive usually found in racing wax) and graphite. Some companies use a base material that sandwiches extruded and sintered bases together. The top layer is sintered and the bottom layer is extruded. This can be an ideal solution because the top layer absorbs wax and runs very fast while the harder extruded section will help protect any bad scratches from going straight through to the base. A few companies use other types of plastic like Teflon which has a similar friction rating to p-tex but it is much more expensive.
Technical breakdown of Bases
Bases are made of a plastic known as p-tex. This is what helps your board slide downhill and keeps snow sliding off rather than sticking to it. P-tex itself is made of ultra high molecular weight polyetheline often referred to as UHMW. This has the highest impact strength of any thermoplastic currently made. It has extremely low moisture absorption and low coefficient of friction. In other words it is perfectly suited for sliding on snow. The majority of companies use this same material for sidewalls to keep the sides of your board protected from rocks and rails.
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