The challenge

Injury rates of children on traditional backyard trampolines highlighted a serious design flaw in the steel spring component.

“There must be nothing there for a kid to bang into and hurt themselves because kids are going to be kids and do their craziest.” Professor Keith Alexander, inventor

Our solution

The idea to replace traditional steel springs with pultruded composite rods to create a safer trampoline was the brainchild of Canterbury University professor and inventor, Keith Alexander. Making that idea a reality was our domain. In collaboration with our client, we developed high-performance rods to be used in a revolutionary ‘SpringFree’ trampoline for ultimate safety and performance. These rods met the following criteria:

  • High creep resistance
  • High fatigue resistance
  • Complex finishing
  • Non-corrosive
  • Highly durable

A modified proprietary resin was formulated while tight quality control parameters and bespoke testing methods were developed. The end result was a global sensation called ‘SpringFree Trampoline’. The days of kids playing on an old rusty trampoline in the backyard were gone forever!

Of course, in the highly litigious North American recreation market, safety was paramount and the new design was tested to withstand 10 million bounces over 15 years, under extremely high loading and creep stress fatigue conditions.

Increased life-cycle and strength

Today, we continue to make further composite improvements, increasing manufacturing efficiencies and quality while also providing our client with an even greater competitive edge.

We designed and developed a new finishing technology that molded the polypropylene ball directly onto the end of the rod at high speed and low cost. The pull-off strength with this process was improved by 20 times.

Mass production of a critical component using advanced finishing technology resulted in an overall improvement in life-cycle and performance.