Monday, August 9, 2010

What Is Goggle Rot? Visualizing Polymer Degradation

Have you heard the term goggle rot? It’s when the elasticity is sucked from your goggle straps and gaskets, and you’re left with crumbly, brittle, easy-to-snap goggles (scientifically speaking). Let’s take a closer look at goggle rot, its cousin polymer degradation, and how to avoid inviting these unwanted visitors to the goggle party.

goggle rot

Goggle rot was easy to find on this 9-year-old pair of Speedo Sprint goggles I found in an old swim bag. Look for goggle rot on the rubbery straps, it will appear as tiny imperfections or notches along the edge of the rubber. Goggle rot becomes even more apparent when you pull on the strap. Stretch it out, and you’ll notice the little tooth marks in the rubber get deeper. Also, look for brittle, stiff rubber that holds its shape – give this section a pull and it should snap cleanly in two.

goggle rot

Goggle rot is a form of polymer degradation, which is a change in the properties (tensile strength, colour, shape) of a polymer of polymer-based product (Wiki). It is caused by a variety of environmental factors such as heat (or rapid changes in heat), light (specifically exposure to ultraviolet light), or chemicals (acids, bases, salts, and gases).

Without knowing the specific composition of goggle straps, it is difficult to tell which factor of polymer degradation is to blame – ozonolysis, however, is a likely candidate. We can assume that goggle straps fall within the polymer classification of elastomers because they have viscoelasticity properties, and elastomers are particularly vulnerable to degradation by ozone naturally present in small amounts in the air.

Compare this image of natural rubber that has undergone ozonolysis to the photos I took of goggle rot:

ozonolysis goggle rot

According to Wikipedia, cracks in the rubber caused by ozonolysis always oriented at right angles to the strain axis. Notice how the “teeth mark” tears in the goggle strap always cut into the rubber perpendicular to the direction of the stretch.

Based on what I have gleaned from Wikipedia while writing this article, I would advise keeping goggles away from prolonged exposure to chlorine (however contradictory that is for swimmers), and keeping them out of cars that heat up during the summer (avoid extreme changes in temperature). But unless you plan to keep your goggles in an air-tight box, it’s impossible to avoid all types of polymer degradation occurring in goggle straps. Silicone is more resistant to Ozone and UV light, which is probably why manufacturers have switched to these materials for newer goggles like Speedo Vanquishers and TYR Tracer goggles.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tim Tadder Swimming Photography On ‘The Design Inspiration’

The Design Inspiration is a great resource for anyone looking to be inspired by creative photography, logo design, or even the latest trends in fonts.

Today’s featured post is a collection of sports photographs from Tim Tadder. You’ll recognize his work for swimsuit manufacturer TYR, and Xterra wetsuits. Check out the full post from The Design Inspiration.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

TYR Signs Two-Time Olympian Megan Jendrick

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

TYR Junior Silicone Cap Wishing You A Happy Earth Day

Ok, so this is the most “Earth Day” related item I could find in our retail shop this morning. To learn more about real life orcas (killer whales) read about them on National Geographic’s website.

You can also do your part to help improve the sustainability of the world’s oceans (and their inhabitants) by checking out the Living Blue section of Oceana.org. There you will find recipe guides (it’s OK to eat fish, just be responsible!), blue links, and a list of 10 Things You Can Do to Save the Oceans.

So remember: Go Green, Live Blue.

Also, in honor of Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary, the Conservation International blog posted the top 40 nature photographs of all time!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Hope No ‘Real’ News Happens Today, Because I Won’t Believe It!

April Fools’ Day is an international day of pranks and foolishness. According to Wikipedia, it is observed in the USA, UK, Australia, South Africa, France, Ireland, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Russia, The Netherlands, Brazil, and yes even Canada. Because it’s an international phenomenon, and because social media has greatly expedited the distribution of news stories, I can’t help but take an “oh yeah right!” approach to reading online headlines.

I just hope that no ‘real’ news happens today – like the discovery of a comet headed towards Earth – can you imagine trying to report that? “No, we know it’s April Fools’ Day, but we really really mean it!”

With that in mind, here are today’s top stories!

Amy Winehouse to race new Ultra distance UK triathlon this summer (everymantri.com) – “I’ve traded all of my cigarettes for running shoes,” Winehouse said referring to her battle with addiction…”that is after I smoke this last one,” she added.

Superhero suit to change face of swimming (thewaterisopen.blogspot.com) – blueseventy’s director of genetic research, April Hoodwink, commented,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Press Release: TYR Signs World Record-Holding Swimmer Nick Thoman

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Up Close And Personal With The TYR Tracer C-Series (Detail Photos)

tyr tracer c-series

The box looks very intimidating in all black with red sides and TYR logo. It has two Velcro tabs that unfold to reveal the suit.

tyr tracer c-series stitching

Construction and compression put the “C” in “C-Series.” Here is a close up of the stitching across the front of the Female Aeroback Short John.

tyr tracer c-series interior

There is no grippy material on the inside hem of the leg. Quadruple stitching from the body continues down the leg. FINA approval barcode (shown in insert) is on left rear hip.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Press Release: TYR Signs Multi-Year Partnership With Triathlon “King of Swim” John Flanagan

john flanagan

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Swim Atlanta Enter Multi-Year Partnership with TYR

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California, January 7. ENTERING the 2010 competitive swim season, TYR is thrilled to announce the beginning of a multi-year sponsorship with Atlanta, Ga.-based Swim Atlanta and Head Coach Chris Davis. Currently sponsoring the program’s standout, Olympic Medalist and American Record Holder Amanda Weir, the company looks forward to fostering the largest team in the country as it builds on 33 years of experience.

“Swim Atlanta has never been just about quantity,” said TYR’s Promotions Director Matt Zimmer. “Five Olympians produced under Chris Davis’ program speaks volumes to the type of coach and the type of program we are proud to partner with.”

Since the co-founding of Swim Atlanta in 1977, Davis has engineered the team from one location and 25 swimmers to seven locations and over 2,000 swimmers. In its tenure, the team has won 12 Junior National Championships and one U.S. National Club Championship. During that time, Davis has personally coached three of the five Olympians who have come through the Swim Atlanta program, including Weir.

“I have watched TYR from a distance the past few years and observed their relationship with not only their professional athlete but their sponsored teams both college and club,” Davis shared. “I have been extremely impressed on all fronts. Our entire coaching staff is excited about Swim Atlanta’s future with such an outstanding company as TYR.”

In addition to a continued dedication to redefining the next generation of performance swimwear and accessories, TYR is passionate about supporting swim programs, individual athletes, and coaches worldwide.

To read more about the achievements of TYR-sponsored athletes, coaches, as well as view the current products available, visit TYR.com

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

TYR Tracer High Performance Line, Pricing Information For Tracer Light, B-Series, and C-Series

I just received retail pricing information for the TYR Tracer Light, Tracer B-Series, and Tracer C-Series suits. Here’s the pricing breakdown for the different styles of suit for each of the three series.

TYR Tracer Light

No change here! The Tracer Light will continue to be offered at the 2009 prices.
Female Aeroback Short John: $220
Female Aeroback: $170
Male Jammer: $140
Male Racer: $80

TYR Tracer B-Series
The B-Series is one of the newest releases in FINA approved tech suits. The B-Series is seamless and form fitting.
Female Short John: $300
Female Aeroback: $240
Male Jammer: $220
Male Racer: $100

TYR Tracer C-Series
The C-Series is big on compression. On the outside, this suit looks very similar to the Tracer Light, but features Power Mesh and Stress Point Enforcement.
Female Short John: $375
Female Aeroback: $270
Male Jammer: $260
Male Racer: $120
It looks like the retail prices for the C-Series correspond to the prices for the LZR Elite by Speedo (see pricing info on previous post). The Speedo LZR Racer Elite matches TYR’s most expensive championship suit, but the Speedo FS-Pro falls somewhere between the Tracer Light and Tracer B-Series as far as pricing is concerned.
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