Friday, March 18, 2011

Swimwear uses micro bubble effect

Hohenstein Institute based in Bonnigheim has recently been running a number of tests on a new innovative swimsuit design. The innovation is said to lie in the make up of the material. “A special coating makes the ultra-thin and ultra-lightweight textile material super-hydrophobic”.
The mechanism of design is such that the air trapped between the fibers is not forced out but instead forms an ultra-thin chamber of air which significantly reduces frictional resistance during swimming. It is a system used in Mother Nature by birds such as the penguin.
The brain behind the technology is a competitive swimmer and Master’s student at the University Of Reutlingen, Sarah Zeim. She developed the prototype for her dissertation under the guidance of Walter Marx. When compared with a standard swimsuit there is an advantageous improvement in speed. A unique feature of the swimsuit is that it remains completely dry even after long training sessions.
An important outcome is that the swimsuit design meets FINA requirements and could provide competition for brands like the Speedo LZR. However in the coming months there is still finer tuning to be done before this product hits the shelves. There is potential that there may be swimmers sporting the swimsuit ‘powered by Hobenstien’ at the 2012 London Olympics.

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