Skateboards as a Sustainable Recyclable Material

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The exact number of skateboards manufactured every year is unknown, but it is estimated to be in the millions. Most skateboard decks are made from a high grade of maple (Acer spp.) veneer plywood and typically last only a few months before they break or deteriorate beyond use. Millions of used skateboard decks are discarded annually, ending up in landfills when, instead, they could be recycled into new products. But beyond artistic or aesthetic purposes, material properties of the used skateboard decks are unknown. The objective of this paper is to investigate the material properties of wooden composite panels created by reengineering the skateboard deck material. These aesthetically pleasing wooden panels may be a sustainable recycled product. This paper presents a method of analyzing material properties and structural aspects of used skateboard deck material. Tests were developed to measure the stiffness and strength in bending, moisture content, specific gravity, moisture durability, and species identification. The results show that this process of reengineering skateboard decks makes for a strong wood product and may be useful to those interested in developing new products from recycled materials.

skateboard, Sustainability, recycling, plywood, veneer, composite, wood composite, sugar maple, stiffness, strength, moisture content, specific gravity, delamination, moisture durability, species identification
Willard, D.T.; Loferski, J.R. Skateboards as a Sustainable Recyclable Material. Recycling 2018, 3, 20.