The Super Material lives. Created by University of California Riverside, it has the ability to repel water whilst absorbing and storing toxins safely.
The Super Material was created by eco-conscious wearable technology engineers who successfully incorporated all the science into a 3D printed bikini that will safely clean the ocean when you take a dip in the ocean. When worn, the recyclable, ecnomically sustainable and intelligently manufactured bikini works like a sponge, that gets to work whilst you are busy swimming.
The brains behind this ‘outfit’, Mihri Ozkan, Cengiz Ozkan, Daisy Patino, and Hamed Bay, won first place in the Reshape 2015 international design competition. On the product, the developers shared, “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. SpongeSuit aims to transform the swimming experience into an eco-friendly activity, by helping clean seas while swimming, one stroke at a time.”
The technology behind the Sponge is its highly porous and super hydrophobic material which has been derived from heated sucrose (a form of sugar). The nano-scale structure of the material allows it to absorb more than 25 times its own weight in contaminants, and does not release the absorbed materials unless it is heated at a temperature exceeding 1,000 degrees Celsius. It also traps the contaminants in the inner pores, meaning that they won’t touch the wearer’s skin, and the material can be used up to 20 times before being recycled.
The future of the Super Material is bright. Besides women’s bikini’s the material can also be used to design and create men’s bathing suits, swimming caps or full-body wetsuits. Made from sugar, the per-gram cost is only 15 cents, making it quite an affordable material with mass market appeal. With the developers already filing patents for the material, the future of swim wear looks promising.