Press Conference:100% Made-in-Japan Brand MERLIN Obtains FINA Approval as Competitive Swimwear
April 13, 2015

On April 13, 2015, Yamamoto Corporation held a press conference at MyDome Osaka (Osaka City). The following was announced. (Video in Japanese only)

The 100% made-in-Japan swimwear brand MERLIN, which uses BRS-4TP, the new competitive swimwear material announced on March 9, obtained approval from FINA on April 3 to be worn in official international competitions.

The focus during the high-speed swimwear dispute of 2008 and 2009 was on merely the speed of the high-performance swimwear, but this latest high-performance swimwear is significant in that it offers swimmers not only speed but improved performance. This is great news for young swimmers aiming for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

1. Water-repellent vs hydrophilic
The surface of competitive swimwear is usually made water-repellent so that it does not absorb water and become heavier, but air bubbles can be trapped in the fibers (between the warps and woofs) of water-repellent swimwear material and burst during racing to disturb the water flow and create significant resistance.

With the hydrophilic property of our new BRS-4TP material, water molecules coat the swimsuit surface as soon as the swimmer enters the water. Thus the pool water flows along the water molecules on the material rather than along the fibers of the material. This achieves an impressively low resistance coefficient of 0.021 cdf (the resistance coefficient of water-repellent swimwear is approximately 1.8 cdf).

On the inside where the swimwear touches the skin, conventional water-repellent swimwear has a skin friction coefficient exceeding approximately 2.0 to 2.3 cdf.

Our new BRS-4TP material reduces this more than sevenfold to a startling 0.32 cdf.

In other words, resistance (stress) between the swimmer’s body and the swimwear is reduced to less than a seventh, allowing the swimmer to enjoy unparalleled freedom of movement as if he or she were not even wearing a swimsuit.

2. Water resistance
The friction coefficient on the outside of conventional swimwear is approximately 1.8 cdf, whereas that of BRS-4TP is 0.021 cdf, 85 times lower. In the world of competitive swimming where speed is paramount, BRS-4TP is the high-performance swimwear material without rival. Its performance is enhanced in swimmers seeking to dive deeper and make deeper turns than with conventional swimwear.

We hope to see many swimmers aiming for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games wear our premium Japanese material and together break numerous world records.

Regarding future market development, Yamamoto Corporation will send information on our latest materials to swimwear manufacturers in Europe, the U.S. and Oceania and proceed with FINA registration.

We aim to sell material equivalent to approximately 50,000 swimsuits annually.

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