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Editor's Memo: Gold-Medal Glue

April 1, 2006
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While several inches of snow fell on the ground outside, I spent much of February curled up with a cup of steaming coffee watching the Winter Olympics.

We all know that adhesives hold the world together, but did you know what an important role they play for Olympic athletes? After his favorite ski boots cracked at the Men's World Cup event at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Italian slalom champion Giorgio Rocca received a quick fix with Araldite® Adhesives - and finished with a gold medal.

The boots were specially designed to mold securely around Rocca's feet at half a size shorter than his normal shoes, making ski maneuvers easier. A run in a brand-new pair proved uncomfortable, with potentially negative implications for Rocca's performance, so emergency repair was made to his old favorites before the second and final leg of the competition.

As any skier knows, boots play an even more important part in performance than skis; they transfer commands from the skier to the ski. It is normal for the inner shoe of the boot to be cut close to the foot contours, to save space yet allow for good blood circulation.

According to a press release, the Araldite adhesive used for Rocca's repair has excellent bonding strength, making it perfect for withstanding the physical demands made on the boots. For more information, see Huntsman Advanced Materials' website at www.huntsman.com/advanced_materials/.

Just a few months after winning the gold medal at the 2005 Men's World Cup event, Rocca competed in several alpine skiing events at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

Evaluating the bond strength of an adhesive is paramount to its success; this issue features an article that explains bond evaluation through acoustic microscopy. This nondestructive testing apparatus uses ultrasound waves to penetrate light-opaque materials to image internal features. Find out more on p. 26.

In addition, an article from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and 3M examines high-throughput peel measurement of a pressure-sensitive adhesive. This testing method allows faster screening of adhesives, which will influence the direction and pace of product development. The article begins on p. 32.

This month's cover story, "The Emergence of Green Chemistry," tackles the U.S. environmental movement and the emergence of green trends and how sustainable materials will be used to formulate environmentally friendly adhesives. See p. 20 for the article.

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