Pressure Mapping of Auxetic Foam and its Characterization
As a part of our final year project in Mechanical Engineering, I Mufid Basha and my acquaintance Rohit Nagarajan from India were really interested in doing a project on sports technology. Fortunately we got in touch with Dr. Thomas Allen from Manchester Metropolitan University through the ISEA winter school. Our project in the United Kingdom was for a time period of 6 weeks starting from the last week of January 2017 to the first week of March 2017.
The project was based on Auxetic Foam, and was supported and funded by the International Sports Engineering Association (ISEA).
Our objective in this study project was to perform pressure mapping on Auxetic foams and compare it with conventional polyurethane foams used in sports safety equipment’s. It also involved optimization by using the foam with different composites procured from the Textiles department. Since pressure mapping on Auxetic foam was an undiscovered topic, we had to initially learn a lot about how the pressure mapping equipment actually would function.
The results which were achieved through this study proved that auxetic foams have better pressure distribution properties which could eventually be used in sports protective equipments if futher study is carried on.
Our experience in the UK was very intense and helped us develop different skills. Since this project involved close co-ordination with other departments like the Textile, it also helped us gain some insight into other departmental works.
The ISEA funding was something which helped us in a big way. Being students, affording an international trip succumbed us initially. However after the formal confirmation of our funding, we were very delighted and obliged. The funding from ISEA was used for different aspects like travel, accommodation, project expenses which involved purchase of consumables, sheets etc.
Most importantly this project helped us understand what Sports Engineering is actually like and develop in us an interest to pursue this course in future. It helped us to demonstrate our analytical skills, planning and organizing the project frame work and bolstering in us the desire to learn more about sports technology. Since this project was completely left at our discretion, we were autonomous in making and executing decisions which improved our project management skills as well.
Our next plan is to take forward this project and possibly join Msc in Sports Engineering at SHU to continue futher reseach in this and diversify our study. Positvely we hope to implement this research project In something that would prove benefical for the sports community.
Certainly this was a great and different experience we were exposed and it created interest in sports engineering to a large extent.