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Testing Methods

 

Round Stingray Striking Force Meter

Round Stingray Striking Force Meter

Step 1: Stingray Force Measurement

First we measured the average force of round stingray stings, by inducing them to sting a force meter and flesh analogue. Based on this data, we created a pendulum to replicate sting strength, with reloadable stingray barbs:
Sting-Replication Pendulum

Step 2: Puncture-Resistant Material Testing

 We used this pendulum to test the puncture resistance of a variety of materials, eventually settling on a composite layering system that balances puncture resistance with flexibility:

Dual Layer design of stingray resistant bootie

Composite Layer Design

Step 3: Stingray Sting Location Survey

To determine the areas most in need of protection, we performed a survey of different sting locations on the foot. The survey is ongoing, and if you would like to contribute, you can find it here!

 

Regions of the foot for Sting Location Survey

Regions of the foot for Sting Location Survey

 

 

Step 4: Percent Coverage Calculations

In order to calculate the “% Coverage” numbers listed on our Stingray-Resistant Booties, we:

  • cut apart the booties, laid them flat, and took pictures of them
  • used an image analysis tool to determine the percent of bootie surface area covered with stingray-resistant materials
Achilles Heels Flat Patterns on Reference Paper

Achilles Heels Flat Patterns on Reference Paper

The final figure reflects the approximate percentage of the bootie surface area that is covered with stingray-resistant materials. Although we design our products to reduce the chance of a user getting stung, it is possible for the stingray barb to penetrate through the stingray-resistant materials. Please see our Product Liability Disclaimer for more detail.

 

Step 5: Validation Testing

Finally, to further validate our design, our team induced round stingrays to sting our booties directly! We used a thin membrane on the inside and outside of the booties to determine the total number of strikes, and the corresponding number of penetrations. The results speak for themselves:

 

Total Strikes
Number of Inner Penetrations
10
0 🙂
Regular Neoprene Bootie
10
10 ☠️

 

On the DragonSkin bootie, we only induced the stingrays to strike a subsection totally covered with protective material, because the "% Coverage" figure already accounts for the unprotected area.

 

A Final Note

We designed our products to protect users from stingray stings. We have tested them with real Round Stingrays (Urobatis Halleri), but we can't guarantee they will prevent all stingray injuries. It is still possible to be stung by a stingray while wearing our booties, although wearing them will significantly reduce the odds of being stung. Please see our Product Liability Disclaimer for more detail.