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Machine Design

Saddles with an attitude

Toe-cage treads that prevent riders' feet from slipping through stirrups when horses gallop are now available in vibrantly colored hues.

Polymar in Belgium is the first to injection mold Compositi toe-cage treads from an (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)/polyamide blend called Terblend N from BASF Corp., Florham Park, N.J. This marks the first time that an ABS/PA has gone into an application primarily the domain of leather and metal.

The lightweight, easy-to-install parts help children learn not to put their feet too far into the stirrups. Plastics in these safety-relevant parts for horse riding, says Polymar's Jacques Guily, have an edge over conventional materials. They are easier to maintain, more dimensionally stable, and less costly.

"We aim to use as much plastic as possible for horseback riding equipment, not only because of its durability and freedom of design, but also because of its cost-efficiency," explains Guily. The company also offers spurs made of Terblend N. In contrast to other plastics, the ABS/PA blend reportedly processes without pre or post-molding treatments, resists impacts, yields attractive surfaces, and easily colors.

Terblend N is part of BASF's PlasticsPlus line of specialty plastics that includes high-performance styrene plastics, biodegradable materials, and foams. A. Schulman, BASF sales partner in Belgium, was also involved in the development of the toe cages.

More Information:
BASF Corp.

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