Australian Innovation Case Study By Christine Hatt
Fast Skin® LZR Racer
An evolution of Speedo's revolutionary Fast Skin® suit
Description of Innovation:
The LZR Racer Suit is a line of high-end swimsuits manufactured by Speedo using a high-technology swimwear fabric composed of woven elastane-nylon and polyurethane. The suit based on a design and was made for men and woman who are professional swimmers that need more flexibility. The suits are fast drying and offer low skin friction drag. The bonded seams create a perfectly smooth yet flexible surface. The swimwear is based on fast movements and the ability to be the fastest swimwear around. It has been created to advance Speedos former leading design “Fast Skin” that was introduced into competitive swimming in the year 2000.
The swimsuit bears many similarities to that of a shark. After a detailed study it was concluded that its movement in the water and texture of skin is not dissimilar to humans. It utilizes a super stretch fabric that firstly improves fit and help to compress muscles to reserve energy. The specialized seams on the suit are the main source of drag reduction. The construction of fabric itself also encourages a reduction in drag.
Who are the designers behind the innovation?
The Fast Skin LZR Racer was developed in association with the Australian Institute of sport, with the help of Speedos sponsored athletes such as Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Leisel Jones, Park Tae-Hwan, and Kate Ziegler. Speedo used NASA to help design the suit. Yup, rocket scientists. Speedo’s Aqualab research team also drawing on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software from ANSYS. International fashion label Comme des Garçons' founder Rei Kawakubo also contributed to the aesthetic of the design.
What were all the factors at the time that lead to the development of this innovation?
What was the need?
The technology in the LZR Racer, is aimed at the upcoming Beijing Olympics, makes FASTSKIN even...