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Arts Centre Washinton

Designing the Dynamic

Designing the Dynamic

23 April 2012 - 30 June 2012

This exhibition will showcase how design and scientific advances can contribute to sporting excellence.  Focusing on nanotechnology and smart materials which are used in sport to improve an athlete’s performance. 

“The next big thing is really small…”

Nanotechnology is being applied to many areas of sport. Tennis and golf are traditionally two of the main sports that embrace new technology, and their use of nanotechnology has further strengthened this claim. In the world of competitive sport even the most minimal changes in equipment can make all the difference between winning and losing.

Golf club manufacturer Wilson has invested heavily in nanotechnology in recent years, particularly in nanometal coatings. The nanometals have a crystalline structure, and although they are hundreds of times smaller than traditional metals, they are four times stronger.

Wilson are now making clubs which are lighter yet more powerful as a result of nanotechnology.

NanoDynamics - a nanoscale engineering and materials company - have recently produced golf balls with nanoscale coating toreduce 'spring' and allow a truer contact with the club, producing shots that do not go further, but do travel straighter.

In tennis, Wilson are once again leading the way - they have started adding nanosize silicon dioxide crystals to their racquets, offering increased power but not at the expense of weight.

Carbon nanotubes have been used in sports equipment for a few years now, particularly by companies such as Yonex, makers of badminton racquets. These racquets are lighter, which allows for a more compact swing that still produces maximum power.

The ‘Designing the Dynamic’ exhibition showcases some of the applications of nanotechnology to the world of sport.

Designing the Dynamic is a collaborative project by Durham University, NETPark, Science Learning Centre North East, Arts Centre Washington, Newcastle Science Festival, Northumbria University and the County Durham Development Company.

The exhibition is funded through the Embedding the Benefits of Innovation in Disadvantaged Communities project. This is a joint initiative between The University of Durham and the County Durham Development Company.

It is part financed by the European Union's ERDF Competitiveness programme 2007-13, securing £0.49m of ERDF investment through the Regional Development Agency One NorthEast. 

The ERDF programme is bringing over £250m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.