Marinho, D. A., Mantha, V. R., Ramos, R. J., Barbosa, T. M., Vilas-Boas, J. P., Rouboa, A. I., & Silva, A. J. (2012). The effect on swimmer’s hydrodynamic drag wearing two swimsuits. Presentation 1922 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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This study analyzed the effect of wearing a modern swimsuit on swimmer passive drag. A computational fluid dynamics analysis was carried-out to determine the hydrodynamic drag of a female swimmer’s model: 1) wearing a textile swimsuit; 2) wearing a last generation high-tech swimsuit; and 3) with no swimsuit (wearing light underwear). The three-dimensional surface geometry of a female swimmer’s model with different swimsuit/underwear was acquired through standard commercial laser scanner. Passive drag force and drag coefficients were computed with the model in a prone position at a depth of 0.75 m for a steady flow velocity of 2.0 m/s.

Higher hydrodynamic drag values were computed with no swimsuit in comparison to the textile or a high-tech swimsuit condition. Very little differences were revealed between the textile and high-tech swimsuit conditions.

Implication. Modern "textile" swimsuits have similar passive drag force properties to the high-tech swimsuits banned in 2008.

Return to Table of Contents for Hydrodynamics of Swimming.

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