|Inside the bicep was perfect because it would be an unusual place for an opponent to grab. In addition when I fall on that side it is going to be pressed between my arm and rib, which shouldn’t hurt, relatively.So I used a grapplers favorite sports accessory to put it on, tape. We tape everything, we buy tape by the box. We tape fingers, toes, elbows, knees, and ears. Ok the big question, “How did the product do?” Great! It worked perfectly and collected great data. What did we learn. Something extremely valuable. Something that would have taken years of field use to discover. It was in the category of chemicals and debris.We had thought about chemicals and debris when we created our use cases. We included exposure to chemicals like sunscreen, bug spray, perfume, and skin lotion. We expected dirt, mud, and grass as well. For chemicals we had a specific recipe for test called “Cocktail X.” It is used in our long term high temperature accelerated life test. But we didn’t consider tape glue. Tape glue actually has a primary stress and (more importantly) a secondary stress. The first is a mechanical issue of glue build up. The second is a chemical one, “What are they using to clean it?”|
|First the mechanical issue. The glue is soft because athletes don’t’ want it to rip skin off when applied and removed each day. But soft means it stays behind, which isn’t a big deal if you are headed to the shower next. So I found white tape glue on the product after I removed it from my arm. I could see the possibility of multiple sessions of this being an issue because the charging contact could get glue on them. In addition there was the possibility of the channels in the housing getting enough glue to have issues. Both serious issues to performance.They do make a compression band that the product can be placed in instead of the wrist band. But here is the thing, grapplers are always going to go for tape first. We don’t’ like things on our body because they get pulled off, or twisted around, and then the match has to stop. There is also the issue of tournament regulations. Competitors are not allowed to have anything on their body for both their and the opponents safety, no jock cups, no wedding rings and no knee or elbow braces, not even a t-shirt under the GI jacket. The shirt could get grabbed twisted and ripped. A compression strap on the arm might be a debate before a match with the ref. Tape on the arm won’t even be questioned.So what is the second issue? How do athletes clean the glue off? Athletes may use any number of chemicals from soap to acetone to try and remove glue.They manufacturer could be getting product returned with cracked casings and deteriorated plastic. That could be a hell of a time figuring out what is happening in the root cause process.|
|We now have the opportunity to figure out an advised method of cleaning tape glue. We are also testing other cleaning methods that may cause serious degradation and create a catalogue of symptoms to aid in root cause analysis. It will be great to be able to immediately diagnose returned product with damaged plastic. “Yup that is what it looks like when gasoline is used to clean it.” So we are now planning an accelerated life test program with a new “Cocktail X” to study cleaning chemicals. Step 2: Ok what next? I took it dog sledding in Northern Quebec. How’s that for extreme. I mean why not. The question that I was going after here were going to be primarily temperature based. This is my mission: “What are the most extreme use case temperatures that can be experienced and what are the fastest temp transition rates that can be experienced.” I was ready to find out.|
- I first went into the hot tub at 40C (104F) to get a good baseline saturation temp.
- Then endured the 85C (185F) in the sauna until I was dizzy.
- Next? Run out into the snow and throw myself in it.