SPONSORED BY:

Sponsored Project

Summer 2018

ADIDAS

ICE HOCKEY

PADDING

For Youth Ice Hockey Players

A ten-day sponsored project with Adidas's Futures Team was a study of different material compositions. Looking specifically at the properties of thermoplastic polyurethane in the athletic industry, we created a youth protective hockey suit for the future of ice hockey.

In collaboration with Ian Simon

ICE HOCKEY IS CHANGING

Ice hockey is getting faster. In this new age of safety in impact sports, ice hockey players will need a fuller coverage of padding to reduce chances of high impact injuries. The sport is starting to value quickness over intimidation, so ice hockey is seeing an influx of smaller and more agile players. When it comes to padding, loyalty and preference starts from a very young age. Partly due to superstition and comfort, a player might remain in the same padding from early high school through college and even into the NHL.

USERS

Youth Ice Hockey players

Ages 5 and up

All genders

Forward positions

Adidas can change the game of ice hockey by introducing a new padding system to youth players to build up this new generation of players.

HOW DO WE DESIGN MORE WITH LESS?

Thermoplastic Polyurethane

Polyester / TPU backing

Polyester & TPU blend

Shoe Foam

Adidas gave us access to four different materials and encourage us to explore their properties. We destroyed, vacuum-formed, folded, sonic welded, 3D weaved and heat pressed each material until we found an interesting solution.

We discovered that when TPU is heated, it melts into hard plastic. We found that the durability of the TPU increased when more layers were added. When foam is placed in the middle of the TPU, it creates a great solution for padding.

BUILDING THE GARMENT

After experimenting with the TPU and shoe foam, we started building our padding system in the shop. We placed different levels of padding in the places that had higher impact versus lower impact. Other features we included were a wrapping sleeve to reduce the amount of waste we created as well as sonic welded seams that eliminated the need for a sewing machine.

Shoe Foam Padding

TPU with Ridging

TPU Base Layer

TPU Polyester Blend

Laser Cut

Sonic Weld

Heat Press

Vacuum Form

Glue

We boiled down the manufacturing of the padding system to five simple processes. By laser cutting the material, more pieces can be cut. Sonic welding will eliminate the need for sewing and using extra material. The heat press and vacuum form will create different levels of padding. The glue will complete the garment by adhering to the padding to the suit.

Ridged Padding

Bandage Arms

New Silhouette

Neck Branding

Fuller Padding Coverage

Zipper Opening

Different Levels of Padding

Range of Mobility

COLORWAYS

Onyx

Avalanche

Winterhawk

IDEATION

Process ideation, napkin sketches.

Material properties ideation, napkin sketches.

Opportunities taken from napkin sketches. My partner and I decided to look at high impact sports as an opportunity.

© Anna Violette 2020

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