Avalanche Snow Shovel Design and Development
Initial Shovel Design
Using CATIA, an original shovel design was created based off of similar avalanche shovel dimensions and blade sizes.
To incorporate a handle, a wedge feature was included into the design of the shovel mold. This would allow lay-up of fiberglass while infusing the handle into the blade at the same time.
Shopbot CNC Machining
The mold design was made of polyurethane foam and was machined using a shopbot CNC machine. Creating the mold out of polyurethane would allow for an appropriate material to Gel-coat on top.
Finished Shovel Mold
The shovel mold was made of Fiberglass and included at least 16 inches of flat surface area on either side of the shovel cavity. A VARTM lay-up process was to be used to allow excess room for resin to flow up and over the Shovel cavity as well as tacky tape to surround all of the edges creating an air tight seal.
Resin is shown flowing through the Cavity of the shovel through the fiberglass. The handle was incorporated into the shovel during curing which would allow proper attachement to the blade without incorporating additional hardware which could have resulted in cracking and stress concentrations within the shovel blade.
The shovel blade development was a success. A threaded wooden pole was attached to represent a handle feature. All set and ready for the snow!
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