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Wheelchair composite loopwheel

News International-French

31 Mar 2015

It is often said that there is ‘no need to reinvent the wheel’, but following a recent invention that’s come to market, this appears to not be the case after all.

The product in question is Loopwheels, a shock-absorbing wheel with a unique, integral suspension system. It was created with the help of an Araldite composite bonder and has been nominated for the prestigious ‘Designs of the Year 2015’ sponsored by the Design Museum in the UK.

Following on from the success of Loopwheels in the cycling market, the company is now set to expand the range further by adapting the product to make it suitable for the production of wheelchairs. Loopwheels for wheelchairs will be formally launched at the Naidex Show, NEC Birmingham from April 28-30.  Sam Pearce, Loopwheels’ Director and designer said, “We’ve had great feedback from people who use wheelchairs, they tell me the wheels are more comfortable and give them greater independence because getting about requires less effort. It was a challenging product to develop - I feel with this suspension wheel, we are really pushing the boundaries.”

Designed to move easier over uneven surfaces, grass and gravel paths with less effort, the carbon springs in Loopwheels give the extra power needed to get up or down kerbs. Furthermore, Loopwheels are extremely strong, durable and more comfortable than standard wheels as they absorb tiring vibration, as well as bumps and shocks.

In selecting Araldite, the manufacturers of Loopwheels benefitted from ease and speed of application during production, ensuring a resilient bond, outstanding toughness, low shrinkage, and exceptional resistance to impact and shear. The specific Araldite epoxy adhesives chosen by Loopwheels not only offer general-purpose, superior structural stability and flexibility but also thermal stability and fatigue resistance.

Choosing an Araldite composite bonder during manufacture was an important decision for Sam. He said, "Huntsman Advanced Materials Division supplies us with the high quality epoxy Araldite adhesives that we use to bond each Loopwheel together. Working with Huntsman, we were quickly able to identify the correct adhesive which provides an incredibly strong bond and has enabled us to reduce the number of mechanical fixings and, therefore, the weight of our wheels."

Huntsman Advanced Materials recently featured Loopwheels on its booth at JEC Paris, a major international, industry show. The product attracted considerable attention for the hundreds of visitors to the stand and looks set for global impact over the next few years.