Abrasives could give Olympic bobsleigh team a new edge

Paul Boughton

The Great Britain Bobsleigh team is preparing for the Winter Olympics with its official sponsor, 3M, by testing various abrasive technologies designed to help enhance its performance.

Although it is 50 years since the British team won an Olympic gold medal, it is now firmly placed in the world’s top five. To try to secure top spot the team has consulted 3M in order to trial performance coatings that are designed to improve aerodynamics and give an edge over competitors.

The Winter Olympics will be held in February this year in Sochi, Russia, and the Russian National Sliding Centre bobsleigh track is claimed to be the most challenging yet by official Olympic reports.

Gary Anderson, The Great Britain Bobsleigh team’s Olympic performance director, has worked closely with 3M in order to exchange ideas and share his ambitions for the 2014 Winter Games. 3M has previously provided abrasives made at the Atherstone site to polish the runners on the bobsleighs, but this year it is exploring a range of technologies which may help improve the team’s chances of winning gold again.

3M has sponsored the Great Britain Bobsleigh team for 23 years. Gary comments: “Bobsleigh is one of the winter sports we are good at and we have been given a significant amount of funding from UK Sport, so expectations are extremely high for this year. The Russians, Canadians, Americans and Germans are our closest rivals and we need to make sure that we are technically, physically and mentally ahead for Sochi. Having the support and experience of the 3M team is aiding our preparations and making sure we’re in the best shape possible.”

Nigel Willcock, Technical Service Engineer for 3M Abrasive Systems Division, said: “The abrasives we donate range from the coarser grades to super-fine microabrasives.”  

For more information, visit www.3M.co.uk/abrasives

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