A Sponge Suit 3D-printed bikini allows the bathing beauty wearing it to clean the waters of the ocean as well.
The problem of water pollution is becoming endemic. Whether it is in the deep blue ocean or in the Great Lakes and backyard swimming pools, it is a serious nuisance and a health hazard to boot.
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Furthermore, oil spills cause extensive damage to marine life forms. The mere act of cleaning up the oil floating on the water requires so many chemical agents that it is a danger in itself. The cure is worse than the disease.
Finally, the latest in high tech clothes may help the ladies look stylish as well as contribute to environmental conservation. It is a 3D-printed bikini that consists of a superior material that can clean up the water anywhere you decide to make a splash.
“This is a super material that is not harmful to the environment and very cost effective to produce,” said Mihri Ozkan, an electrical engineering professor at UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering.
Spongesuit bikini created by engineers at UC Riverside and designers at Eray Carbajo. ILLUSTRATION CREDIT: ERAY CARBAJO
It is designed as a water-repellent substance with the exception being that it will absorb and trap any toxic materials in the water. The novel bikini was created by engineers at the University of California Riverside. The matrix of the material is known as a Sponge Suit. It grabbed the first prize at the Reshape 2015 International Design Competition.
The material may be recycled and it has a reasonable price. It opens up exciting possibilities in eco-friendly wearable technology. The people who participated on the team of researchers responsible for the material included in their repertoire: Mihri Ozkan, Cengiz Ozkan, Daisy Patino and Hamed Bay.
The Sponge Suit is water-resistant and made by heating sucrose. The material absorbs toxic effluvia to an extent that is 25 times greater than its own weight. And when it is heated to a temperature above 1000 degrees Celsius, it lets go of the toxins at once. This is something which works in synch with the goals of environmentalists.
Small pores in the material trap the toxins and keep them inside it without letting the wearer’s skin get dirty in any way. This 3D-printed bikini can be used almost two dozen times before it is heated to allow the dirt to be released.
Components of the Spongesuit bikini. Illustration credit: Eray Carbajo
“We designed a swimwear that is environmentally proactive, economically sustainable and intelligently manufactured combining cutting edge 3D printing and nano-scale clean-tech material research,” said the developers. “SpongeSuit aims to transform the swimming experience into an eco-friendly activity, by helping clean seas while swimming, one stroke at a time.”
The special bikini exhibits intelligent design and it is the “in” thing right now in environmental science. The nanotechnology that goes into its making is very fine and intricate in its nature.
The project to make such a material began about half a decade ago. The bikini consists of a plastic framework which fits on top of a sponge filter. And it fits the body of the wearer snugly and comfortably.
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“Absorbing everything but water, the material is a powerful tool for water and contaminant separation,” said the developers. “SpongeSuit is a preliminary effort to create an actively eco-conscious wearable technology…Reprogrammability, recyclability and affordability are intriguing properties of the technology, allowing room for further research and development in clean-tech wearable. We aim for a future where everyone, with any shape and form of swimming outfit, can contribute to the cleanliness of the seas by a sports activity or simply a leisurely summer vacation.”