simulating swimwear for increased speed

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Unformatted text preview: ANSYS Advantage Volume II, Issue 2, 2008 4 FEATURE: SPORTS Simulating Swimwear for Increased Speed Speedos new full-body swimsuit takes advantage of simulation technology in pursuit of gold medals and world records. By Leigh Bramall, PR Spet, ANSYS, Inc. Most of us are familiar by now with the use of simulation in sports such as Formula One racing, NASCAR and, more recently, Americas Cup yacht racing. The potential applica- tions are obvious with aerodynamics on a racing car or hydrodynamics on a yacht. But the use of simulation technol- ogy is spreading far beyond these more obvious applications. Swimwear designer and manufacturer Speedo is a name synonymous with the pool and swimming competition. The company has an 80-year history of developing swimsuits for elite swimmers, all the while successfully maintaining its leading position in the industry. In the 1920s, Speedo made history with the Racerback the worlds first non-wool suit. More recently, the company introduced the full-body swim- suit to the competitive swimming arena with its FASTSKIN suit, which was designed to reduce drag and optimize performance and was worn by the majority of competitors at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) first entered the sport of competitive swimming in a significant way with the development of Speedos FASTSKIN FSII swimsuit, devel- oped for use at the 2004 Athens Olympics. February 2008 saw the further development of Speedos CFD program with the global launch of its LZR RACER suit ahead of the Beijing games. Using FLUENT technology from ANSYS, Inc., Speedo used CFD analysis to guide, test and refine the final design of the suit, bringing together a range of research with the goal of improving performance. The LZR RACER suit is the result of three years of work conducted by Aqualab, Speedos own in-house R&D group. Headed by Jason Rance, the Aqualab group oversaw a research program that employed multiple partners the Uni- versity of Otago in New Zealand, the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, the Australian Institute of Sport, Optimal Solutions in the United States, NASA in the United...
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