Rotational Molding of a Metal-Free Wheelchair
A wheelchair made of only plastics is lightweight, does not rust, and is invisible to metal detectors at airports. These are the reasons why entrepreneur Torbjørn Skjæran developed the wheelchair named EasyRoller. The first version was built as early as 2000. Its frame was welded from ABS pipes. The latest model is 105 cm high, and weighs 12 kg. Its seat, chassis and tiltable footrests are made of PET. The wheels are made of rubber, the laces are of polyamide, while the upholstering consists of neoprene.
The rims and brakes were injection molded from polycarbonate and ABS. Some of the components were developed by Eker Design of Norway, who also produced several prototypes. Skjæran made up the aesthetic and functional design of the wheelchair together with PartnerPlast AS, Åndalsnes, Norway, and Persico spa, Nembro, Italy. The two specialist companies – processor and moldmaker – eventually succeeded in meeting the target of a wheelchair without weld lines and with its frame produced by rotational molding. Apart from design, other major aspects were integration of movable parts and structural reinforcements, as well as choice of materials.
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