Crumb Trail
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
d3o

Flexible ballistic protection.

Skiwear company Spyder, based in Colorado, US, developed racing suits incorporating d3o along the shins and forearms and offered members of the US and Canadian Olympic alpine ski teams the chance to try them out several months ago. "Now they love it and won't ski without it," . . .

The resulting material exhibits a material property called "strain rate sensitivity". Under normal conditions the molecules within the material are weakly bound and can move past each with ease, making the material flexible. But the shock of sudden deformation causes the chemical bonds to strengthen and the moving molecules to lock, turning the material into a more solid, protective shield.

In laboratory testing, d3o-guards provided as much protection as most conventional protective materials, its makers claim. But Phil Green, research director at d3o Labs, says it is difficult to precisely measure the material's properties because the hardening effect only last as long as the impact itself. . .

Another potential application may be sound-proofing. The propagation of sound waves should generate a similar strain to an impact . . .

Sort of like a lens that darkens as light intensity increases . . . but spookier.

posted by back40 | 2/14/2006 11:34:00 AM

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