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Engineering the world's fastest swimsuit
Date:2/28/2008

A highly specialised computer modelling technique developed at The University of Nottingham has been instrumental in the design of a revolutionary new swimsuit which is now being hailed as the fastest in the world.

Dr Herve Morvan, a lecturer in fluid mechanics in the School of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, is working as an advisor to the AQUALAB, Speedos competition research and development department, responsible for the development of Speedos new LZR Racer swimsuit.

Within a week of its launch athletes wearing the new swimsuit had broken three world records.

Speedo harnessed the expertise of NASA and a number of international research institutes and industrial partners such as ANSYS, one of the worlds leading engineering simulation software providers, to create the new suit.

The team at Nottingham specialises in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), the computer modelling of fluid flow. The technique is rapidly developing in its technology and applications and can cut design times, increase productivity and give significant insight to fluid flows.

CFD is commonly used for analysis, for example, in the Rolls Royce University Technology Centre which specialises in research for the aeronautics industry, and for many other applications relating to the energy, biomedical and sports sectors. As well as engineers, experts in the School of Mathematical Sciences and the School of Physics and Astronomy develop and use numerical modelling techniques of fluid flow to provide insight in fluid problems ranging from the atomic scale to that of the universe.

Speedo AQUALAB scanned over 400 athletes and obtained the scan for a series of top athletes. Using CFD analysis Dr Morvan and his team were able to pin-point areas of high friction on the athletes body. With this information designers were able to position low friction fabric, exclusively developed by Speedo, in the right locations.

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Contact: Dr. Herve Morvan
herve.morvan@nottingham.ac.uk
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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