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Impact resistant materials and Design Principles for Sportswear

Tyler, DJ and Venkatraman, PD (2012) Impact resistant materials and Design Principles for Sportswear. In: Proceedings of the 88th Textile Institute World Conference. The Textile Institute. ISBN 9781622763443

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Abstract

Recently there had been a widespread use of high performance materials in sports wear with enhanced functionality. In sportswear, protection against impact is featured in products for skiwear, snowboarding, rugby, football, basketball, cycling, running shoes, and many others. There is a dearth of technical information about the range of materials being used and quantifiable measures of their effectiveness are rarely disseminated. An experimental set up is discussed with the scope of obtaining reliable and valid data relating to materials and commercial products. Two experimental methods have been used to gain understanding of material properties: an impact attenuation test (which captures peak forces over time) and TekscanĀ® pressure sensors (which capture the areal dispersal of impact forces). Alongside these dynamic tests are measures of thickness, flexural rigidity and bulk density. It was found that thicker materials (10 mm) were effective in protecting against 5J impacts. However bulky inserts resrticted free movement, which was a concern in designing garments. The outcomes from pressure sensors enabled to precisely measure and monitor profile of impact force applied on to the substrate. Based on this work, three parameters identified which would determine the characteristics of materials, the energy absorption properties, the ability of materials to extend the duration of an impact and the ability of materials to broaden the area affected by an impact. Using the above parameters the research is able to design smart protective garments which will have materials to prevent impact injury by absorbing the impact, delaying the point impact force and distributing it across a wider area.

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