Hans deBot (ME ’93) is the man behind the fabrication of the USA Olympic Bobsled Team’s menacing sleds. Located here in North Carolina, deBot’s company deBotech partner’s with BMW to create the light, shiny, black and tough sleds. The secret of success? deBot’s mastery of carbon fiber.
Olympic sleds have weight limits. Made with a carbon-fiber body, the distribution of weight is better, and results in a faster vessel. Fiberglass sleds of the past don’t make the cut with the carbon-fiber competition. The bobsleds are hybrid, made with carbon, Kevlar, and other materials. Then they are tweaked to be strong in the right places and responsive in others. “It’s a bit of a black art,” deBot said. “The secret isn’t the carbon fiber. It isn’t the chassis. It’s all of it coming together with the athletes.”
See the full story from WRAL here.