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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Inventing a new life jacket

Health, Humor, Life, People, Science, Tech

The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) recently held an Innovations in Life Jacket Design Competition .

The winner of this competition was Adam Malcom, a graduate student in the University of Virginia’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Program, whose design is a simple and comfortable belt that when activated manually or automatically be CO2 cartridge, extends slender, symmetrically-arranged air bladders stored inside the belt inflate rising up to surround the wearer on all sides. No secondary action, such as sliding flotation over the head, is necessary. You simply float much like you would in an inner tube.

Honorable mention in the competition was Grand Rapids, Michigan's very own Nicholas Weigel who attends Kendall College of Art and Design. His device uses water soluble locks, on contact with water, the locks dissolve and fills the straps with 486 cubic inches of buoyancy foam.

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