Glad To Have You Onboard!
01 April 2001
Freeboarding is a strenuous sport that places great demands on the
materials of construction and components - particularly the fasteners.
The new steerable 'Loko' from inventor Ric Russell's stable, is no
Freeboard inventor, Ric Russell (right in this picture) made several
attempts to find the right fastening system for one of his latest
product's steering mechanism before he met Ken Stanley (left in picture),
founder and managing director of Bighead bonding Fasteners. Mr Russell's
Loko freeboard (a cross between a skateboard and a snowboard) has
barrel-shaped inflatable wheels that pivot to provide instantaneous
steering action on demand from the rider; he or she simply leans in the
required direction and the board follows. These wheels can tackle most
terrain; but the injection moulded plastic turntable mechanism that
supports them is subject to very high stresses, so the pivot has to be a
The solution was found in Bighead's bonding fastener system. These
products have a perforated head through which plastics flow to form a
rock-solid metal/plastic matrix, which will not rotate or pull out.
Indeed, they become a lifelong part of the product. The Loko application
came about when Bighead was able to demonstrate the wide use of the
fasteners as hidden anchorages in laminates, road signs and engine covers
- even thick-walled rotational moulded laundry bins!
Quickly located in moulds of all kinds, Bighead fasteners require no
drilling or 'making good', which are usually needed with front fixings
such as screws or bolts. There are around 2,000 types and sizes to choose
from, but the company will make special products to solve specific
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