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Nanotechnology in Sport

Chemistry 2011
by

Joyce Chan

on 22 May 2011

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Transcript of Nanotechnology in Sport

Nanotechnology Nanoparticles is the branch of technology that deals with dimensions of less than 100 nanometers, and principally involves the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules to make useful materials and devices are extremely small particles that have a diameter ranging typically from 1 - 100 nanometres (1nm = 1 billionth of 1 metre) So, if this was a nanoparticle: this would be an E. coli bacterium: And a human hair would be 200x thicker than the bacterium! NANOTECHNOLOGY IN SPORT But before we get to that... Let's define some things first. So, let's talk about nanotechnology. OK, so now let's get back to... How does it apply? WELL.......... Tennis Golf Swimming Track athletics Car racing Formula One Motorcycling Bobsledding Ice-skating Luge Cycling High-contact sports Equipment Clothing And even supporters! Click on the grey box around each text to see the details.

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When finished, return to this screen, then click on the right arrow to continue the presentation. TENNIS Carbon nanotube-infused graphite is now being used to make rackets (first introduced by tennis company Babolat in 2002)
--> rackets are more stable & much lighter, yet many times stronger than the steel in weatherproof buildings
--> stronger racket = more power = big speed increase Tennis racket manufacturer Wilson has also started to add nanosize silicon dioxide crystals to the racket frame
--> further increases power, but does not increase weight Wilson also pioneered the 'Double Core tennis ball'
nanosize balls of butyl rubber are bonded to clay particles, and this mixture is applied to the inside of the yellow fluffy surface
--> acts as an effective but still flexible sealant
--> very difficult for air to escape the ball
--> ball will retain its bounce for much longer
--> balls don't need to be replaced as often GOLF G0lf club manufacturer Wilson is now using nanometal coatings to replace the titanium crowns on existing clubs (on the surface of club head)
nanometals - same crystalline structure; hundreds of times smaller; 4 times stronger than traditional metals
--> lowers weight & centre of gravity
--> increased power & more accurate aim AccuFLEX (Gastonian company) makes stronger, lighter, & more durable golf shafts (the stick part of the club) using nanoparticles
nanoparticles fill any gaps in the shaft's structure
--> tighter molecular structure = more dense
--> straighter & stronger golf shaft traditional shaft:
no nanoparticles AccuFLEX shaft:
with nanoparticles nanoparticles inside golf balls can help to make it fly straighter
when conventional balls are hit with the club they undergo a huge amount of deformation due to the impact
this leads to uneven weight distribution, and thus deviation from a normal flight path
nanoparticles can aid to better channel the energy received from the club and balance out weight distribution
--> straighter flight path SWIMMING In the new ultra-lightweight, low-drag swimwear, fabric fibres are coated with 'nanohairs', which repel water
Fabric absorbs less than 2% of its own weight in water (traditional low-drag swimwear absorbed up to 50% of its weight in water)
--> swimmers can practically glide through the water with almost no resistance
however, this can cause problems in competition, because some swimmers may be accused of cheating if they wear these 'power' suits but others don't (which occurred during the 2008 Beijing Olympics) The same technology can be applied to:
clothing for cyclists --> air will slide over the fabric just as easily as water, so drag (air resistance) is minimised
any sports clothing that needs to repel sweat --> sweat beads will slide off the fabric just like water, so athletes can remain dryer TRACK ATHLETICS Shoes (spikes) need to be soft enough to absorb the impact of running, but hard enough to maintain its shape
Modern (but expensive) athletics spikes contain both hard & soft nanoparticles
Nanoparticles make shoe lighter, more flexible, stronger, and transfer energy more efficiently
--> more stabilility & comfort
--> better torsion & increased flexibility
--> minimal energy loss Shoes worn by 2008 Olympic silver medallist Jeremy Wariner, incorporating the described nanotechnology RACING - on ground, ice and snow Nanoparticles are applied to paint (car/motorcycle/bobsled/bicycle body) or metal (iceskates/luge/bobsled)
Nanoparticles self-align, forming new structures around the molecules of the paint/metal
--> surface becomes ultra smooth, therefore drag is greatly decreased
--> less energy required (for cars, this means less fuel), so with the same amount of energy input, more force (and thus speed) is produced HIGH-CONTACT SPORTS Carbon nano-tubes in protective shoulder pads make them much stronger and also more lightweight
--> players are less restricted by weight, so they can be more agile & move faster
--> safety is not compensated SUPPORTERS In New Zealand, Adidas launched a promotion for the supporters of the All Blacks rugby team
Proposed to etch the names of thousands of fans, as well as all 1073 past & present All Blacks players, onto 1 single thread
Then, incorporate this thread into making a jersey for All Blacks captain Richie McCaw to wear SMELLY CLOTHES & EQUIPMENT Sports clothing & equipment are optimal breeding grounds for bacteria & fungi due to the moisture (from sweat) and warm temperatures
Silver has natural antibacterial & antifungal properties
- suppresses respiration, metabolism & transport of nutrients through the cell membrane
- greatly reduces rate of multiplication & growth of bacteria & fungi

Scientists have developed nano-size silver particles that are able to bind to cotton, plastic or nylon materials in shoes, socks, clothing, helmets, & other sports equipment
Silver nano-particles have diameter around 25nm
--> very high surface area : volume ratio, so particles can interact with a large number of bacteria & fungi
--> improved bacteria/fungi killing capacity
--> cleaner, better smelling clothes & equipment Towel with silver nanoparticle treatment that inhibits bacteria/fungi growth Bibliography: by Joyce Chan and Any problems? In regards to the use of nanoparticles in sport, there are no notable concerns because most of the applications of nanotechnology are only for sporting equipment (such as rackets, balls, car bodies etc.), so this would have no effect on one's health.
The only possible concerns that might be raised would only apply to clothing items (anti-bacterial clothes, low-drag swimwear) because these are the only ones that are in direct contact with the human body.

However, low-drag swimwear has been in widespread use among elite swimmers since 2008 and there have not been any health complaints, only concerns about competition fairness (as mentioned).
Anti-bacterial/fungal clothing has also been marketed for several years without complaint.
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