Beaver-inspired wetsuit to keep surfers warmer

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Plazma Inferno!, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    MIT engineers have devised a wetsuit featuring a similar hairy layer made of rubber to insulate divers and surfers.
    The researchers looked at beavers and otters because the small mammals stayed warm while remaining nimble and agile, key traits for wetsuit material. Their pelts also offered clues for how to keep surfers warm while submerged yet quickly shed water when they pop up on their boards. While the current understanding of their hair theorizes longer "guard" fur trapping air in the dense "underfur" beneath it, the exact mechanics were unknown, requiring further research by the engineers.
    Their results, published in the journal Physical Review Fluids, found that the spacing of each individual hair and the animal's diving speed affected how much air a surface would trap. They simulated the fur strands as tubes in a computer equation, resulting in a mathematical model to trapping different amounts of air, and thus, warmth.
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  3. geordief Valued Senior Member

    It almost seems that this is what materials researchers should be doing as a matter of course. Ask if animals have found solutions to any particular problem.

    They have had millions of years of trial and error to explore ways of coping with the environment .

    Not to mention the solutions they must have found to attacks by one upon another (ie diseases).

    Every species that is lost is a "knowledge reservoir" that is lost forever.
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