Speedo International is launching a full-body replica sharkskin swimsuit, designed in-house. The project is the fruition of a project which has seen Speedo’s research and development department working on ‘extracting good design from nature’ since 1996. Called Fastskin, the biomimetic sharkskin suit reduces drag by duplicating the surface of a shark. ‘Speedo looked at a creature, which is fast in water but not naturally hydrodynamic, in order to mimic the design,’ says a spokeswoman. The suit uses V-shaped ridges stippled across its surface to direct water flow over the body, allowing surrounding water to pass over the body more effectively. Other collaborators on the design were R&D group Mizuno which worked closely in the development of the fabric and its testing, and Computer Clothing Research, which provided 3D body scanning.
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