A design sensitivity study was completed to increase the buckling strength of a boot binding in the snow sport industry. The occurrence of a binding failure may lead to serious rider injury. The design variables significant to the design were identified and an appropriate nonlinear finite element model was developed to model the kinematics of the locking device. The effects of process variations, composite material variations, molded part tolerances, and justification of dimensioned parts in the binding assembly were incorporated in the study. Several design recommendations were provided through the product design and re-tooling efforts. An experimental test designed by the client was modified based on the finite element findings which lead to high correlation to the analytical prediction work effort has lead to developing a core competency for the client company in a critical aspects of binding design, engineering and development.
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