We wanted the wheel rims for our next generation of arctic carts (PACs) to be extra lightweight, extra strong and extra take-apart-able for transport. Composite materials were the answer, and when we went to chat to David Lyons from EMP about the possibilities, he was so enthused about this application - and so convinced that composites were definitely the way to go - that he volunteered to sponsor us on the spot - firstly helping design the rims, have a mould made up, and then show us how to make as many rims as we needed using the latest "micro-sandwich" laminate technology with an infusible core where required!
Showing how ignorant we were of composites, at our first meeting we asked if he really thought composites would do the trick, because we was worried a foam composite structure might simply collapse and buckle if it got hit hard on the side, locally breaking the laminate... He grinned, and brought over a sample of resin infused foam sandwich panel. It was indestructible! He showed us a tiny little mark on the side where he'd struck it hard with a hammer! It's fantastic technology, and we're so very proud (not to mention reassured and relieved) that we are working with EMP to produce the rims for our arctic cart!
In July 2005, two young Aussies Chris Bray and Clark Carter plunged inside the Arctic Circle to travel unsupported across Victoria Island, the world's ninth largest and largely unexplored island. After 58 days of hauling, paddling and dragging 250kgs of gear behind them in their home-made aluminium kayaks with fold-down wheels, they were only 1/3 the way across! It was such an incredible adventure though - including wolves, polar bears, artefacts, blizzards and unseen landscapes - that they vowed to return. After two years of prep, The iiNet 1000 Hour Day Expedition set of in 2008, and finished what they started.