Best Answer

Softer, stronger and longer

Nanotechnology is big news in sport. Scientists are already using nanomaterials to make top-of-the-range equipment with enhanced properties. Shock-absorbing shoes give softer landings, balls keep their pressure for longer gameplay, and stronger tennis rackets and Golf clubs can deliver more powerful, straighter shots.

Shock revelation

The foam in trainers has been cushioning our feet for over ten years. But no-one knew exactly why it was so good at absorbing shocks. Powerful new microscopes have revealed the answer is in the foam's nanostructure.

Chains of molecules are arranged in repeating sequences, and the length of this sequence is crucial. Scientists can now adjust the foam ingredients, making tiny changes to the repeating sequence to control the foam's shock-absorbing performance.

Getting the ball rolling

Nanotechnology made its Davis Cup debut in 2002, in a tennis ball with long-lasting bounce. Inside the 'Double Core' ball there's an extra layer - a coating made of 1 nanometre-thick clay platelets mixed with rubber. The platelets create a maze that slows down air flowing through it, so the ball stays inflated for longer.

Trapping air is useful for many things, not just tennis balls. The barrier coating could stop air from spoiling your food through the wrapping, keep chemicals from touching your skin and prevent car tyres losing pressure.

In full swing

Nano-sized ingredients are now making a big impact in sport. When added to materials such as carbon fibre, they create lighter, stronger composite materials.

Tennis and golf are leading the way, with nano-composite-enhanced rackets and clubs. And last year, nanotechnology made it onto the winner's podium. Roger Federer won Wimbledon using a racket reinforced with nano-sized
silicon-dioxide crystals incorporated into the frame.

Up and down mountains

Other sports are following suit. Mountain bikers are taking advantage of the strength of carbon nanotubes, using them to make super-strong handlebars.

In winter 2005, nanotechnology will hit the ski slopes. The same silicon-dioxide crystals that reinforce Roger Federer's tennis rackets are adding flexibility control to the ski's tip and tail, allowing slicker turns and a smoother ride.

Is everyone a winner?

Surely better top-of-the-range sporting products can only be a good thing, can't they?

As yet, there is little evidence to suggest that nano-sized particles which are fixed into other materials, as they are in sports equipment, offer cause for concern. But we will need to monitor new products to ensure that in manufacture, and throughout their lifetime, nanoparticles aren't released as materials degrade. And at the end of their useful life we'll need to dispose of products safely.

Clever clothes

Clothes have just got clever. Nano-sized treatments are giving fabrics novel and useful properties. Synthetic materials draw moisture away from the wearer's skin, just like cotton. Spills don't soak in, they just roll away. Stubborn stains wash out easily. And smells never get stuck in.

But while the technology might be new, and the products cutting-edge, the scientists who created them looked to nature for inspiration.

User Avatar

Wiki User

11y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar
More answers
User Avatar

Wiki User

12y ago

chelsea fc rule down with man u

This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: What makes Padraig Harrinton's golf clubs so strong?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass