January 1, 2008 Materials Scientists, working with textile designers, tested new designs for the National Hockey League’s ergonomic and heat-releasing jerseys. In a climate-controlled chamber, they used a laser to map 300,000 data points to create a 3D image for custom-designed clothes, and a thermal imaging camera to map the areas where temperature climbs highest during a workout.
Ice hockey is a fast…. Intense…. Played in freezing temperatures.
It might be cold during an ice hockey game, but hard working players have a tough time keeping cool. Now, teams are being outfitted with new hockey jerseys that help cool off players. But despite the cold, heavily suited up players, like Steve Myers, are sweating it out on the ice.
“It can get pretty toasty with all that on and all the exercise you're doing," Myers told Ivanhoe.
Now, apparel design engineers have a new type of jersey fabric, called play-dry, it helps keep players dry and up to 10 degrees cooler during a game.
To design the new jersey, a thermal imaging camera maps out heat patterns on athletes. Researchers can then see where different types of fabrics would be useful in a garment.
A body scanner also uses a tiny laser light to collect 300,000 data points on a body. The points are mapped together to create a 3D image. Researchers use the image to design customized clothes.
“The body scanner we use to, um, examine fit issues," Tanya Domina, M.S., MBA, Center For Merchandising & Design Technology researcher at Central Michigan University told Ivanhoe.
The new jerseys aren't ready for Steve's team yet, but he's already got ideas for an ideal uniform.
"Something that's breathable, something that's waterproof would be perfect … and looks good," said Myers.
FOOTBALL PADS MADE COOLER TOO: New shoulder pads keep players cool, by reflecting 90 percent of the heat from the sun. Made of aluminized polyester, a material originally designed by NASA for the space shuttle, the pads also contain a layer of air that prevents heat from reaching the skin.