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Does Dunlop take a cue from Mother Nature?

September 5th, 2011

filed in Tennis Product Reviews, Tennis Racquet Reviews

Dunlop Biomimetic

Nature inspires the design of many things we witness in our daily lives. Just look into the sky and notice the airplane wings. Or into the water at the sleek sail boat. Or that honeycomb design of the freeway off-ramp crash barrier. Yep—all started with a close inspection of natural design. Dunlop Biomimetic technology has been introduced to tennis and is also based upon “Mother Nature’s” expertise.

The term “Biomimetic” is broken down as follows: Bio = Life and Mimetic = to imitate. Dunlop Biomimetic design is inspired by nature and features 3 main categories: 1) Aeroskin 2) HM6 Carbon; and 3) Gecko-Tac.

Aeroskin is Dunlop’s term for a material applied to the racquet surface (hoop).  This material, a textured substance consisting of 100’s of tiny “dots” is based upon the skin of a shark (sharks have microscopic riblets all over their bodies which create localized turbulence but reduce drag). As you know—sharks are very fast and strike with great power! Well—the same goes for the racquet—air is smoothed as you swing, which increases head-speed and maneuverability. Dunlop says aerodynamic drag is reduced by up to 25%. (No—they won’t call you “Jaws” from now on!).

Dunlop Biomimetic HM6 Carbon is based upon one of the strongest, most efficient structures in nature—the honeycomb.   Dunlop makes High-Modulus Carbon fibers in a 6-sided shape and incorporates this between the racquet material. This reduces racquet vibrations by up to 10%. I guess the engineers at Dunlop were busy as bees!

Gecko-Tac is inspired by, yes, a Gecko’s foot-pads. As you may know, a Gecko can “grip” on just about any surface, in any condition, and even upside-down! Gecko-Tac is a grip / overgrip that is smooth, tacky, and features perforated areas which wick-away moisture. Dunlop Biomimetic engineers say that a player can experience up to 50% more grip and tack than with previous Dunlop grips, which results in better feel and precision.

Dunlop Biomimetic engineers must have been thinking “why re-invent the wheel?” when creating this new line of products. Mother Nature has more experience than anyone, so why not capitalize on Her expertise? So the next time you are shopping for a racquet you just might want to test the Dunlop Biomimetic line. It is, one could argue, a set of designs with a million-plus years of proven technology.

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