SciAps Handheld LIBS for detecting banned ski waxes

SciAps Instant Detection of Banned Fluorinated Ski Waxes with Handheld LIBS

Diggity ApNote, Independent Studies, LIBS, News & Press

Eight cross-country ski sections were evaluated in a blind study to determine if fluorine could be correctly identified.

Iron-on fluoro-powders and fluorinated paraffins for skis offer unmatched glide properties and repel dirt exceptionally well. They have been used by many national ski teams worldwide.

However, fluorinated ski waxes have been shown to have a negative environmental and health impact. They’ve been banned by the Norwegian Ski Association since 2017 and were more recently banned by the International Ski Federation (FIS) starting with the 2020-2021 season. These waxes will also be banned from the 2022 Beijing winter Olympics. From an FIS press release: “A specialist FIS Working Group led by FIS experts Atle Skaardal (alpine skiing) and Pierre Mignerey (cross-country) and including the ski and wax industry will be formed to establish the regulations and control procedures.”

A major hurdle for regulation and control of the use of fluorinated waxes is the need for an easy detection method that can be used on the spot with instant results. The SciAps handheld LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) instrument has been shown to do exactly that. Read the ApNote.

“LIBS can see the waxes that really matter both environmentally and for health and for “cheating” now that these are being regulated for sport.”—Professor Paul Bierman, UVM

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