Smart armor for skiers, today. Perhaps for motorcyclists tomorrow? - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Smart armor for skiers, today. Perhaps for motorcyclists tomorrow?

Here is the linky to the article:

Here is the article for the lazy people...

US and Canadian skiers get smart armour
16:52 14 February 2006 news service
Will Knight
A futuristic flexible material that instantly hardens into armour upon impact will protect US and Canadian skiers from injury on the slalom runs at this year's Winter Olympics.
The lightweight bendable material, known as d3o, can be worn under normal ski clothing. It will provide protection for US and Canadian skiers taking part in slalom and giant slalom races in Turin, Italy. Skiers normally have to wear bulky arm and leg guards to protect themselves from poles placed along the slalom run.
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," claims Richard Palmer, CEO of UK-based d3o Labs, which developed the material.
Although the exact chemical ingredients of d3o are a commercial secret, Palmer says the material is synthesised by mixing together a viscose fluid and a polymer. Following synthesis, liquid d3o is poured into a mould that matches the shape of the body part it will protect.
Brief impact
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.
However, Green believes it may be possible to alter the properties of d3o for new impact-protection and anti-trauma applications. "There are certainly opportunities to dabble with the chemistry and enhance the effect," he told New Scientist.
Another potential application may be sound-proofing. The propagation of sound waves should generate a similar strain to an impact, so it may be feasible to create a material that becomes more sound proof in response to increasing noise. "It could have some very interesting, unexplored properties," Green says.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Perhaps the next generation of DragginJeans will utilize this technology, for those who won't let the safety get in the way of their fashion...
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 09:21 AM
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Sounds like its showing good potential for motorcycle gear. As with other technologies, if it proves itself useful, then, as smart and creative people think up new uses for it, it will spread into different markets. This stuff would make good armor plating. Rather than this stiff, bulky stuff that makes the back of your jacket, elbows, knees feel all uncomfortable, our gear would be comfy and flexible. Sounds like a great idea to me. The article did say, though, that the chemical ingredients are a commercial secret. That would mean that either someone else would have to come up with the same kind of stuff, or the company would have to see that it has potential in other places, other than just ski protection.

Now, if only I had that stuff last night. My friends and I decided to go snowboarding at the last second, and were totally unprepared. Needless to say, I'm all bruised and sore.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 10:23 AM
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Icon is already using this stuff in one of their shoes.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 01:41 PM
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I noticed there is no mention of flexibility returning after stress bonds the material. That would make it a replacement for removable armor, most likely.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 01:44 PM
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Its virtually the same memmory foam you've seen everywhere... this is not a new material, rather a new application for an old material....

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 04:32 PM
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The article states that the material hardness only lasts during the impact. Sounds like the old corn starch and water trick. Should be a neat product for M/C armor.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 06:23 PM
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so does kevlar work on the same principal? just wondering
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 07:04 PM
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Kevlar uses very tightly woven polymer threads each of which has an inherently high tensile strength to provide protection. What you end up with is a material that can "catch" high velocity objects in the fibers without distorting much. As a bonus, the material is durable stuff and doesn't abrade easily. It will however transfer energy beyond the fabric, and that is why police who have been shot while wearing Kevlar still get massive bruising and broken bones. So by itself Kevlar will not do much good for blunt impacts like smacking your elbow on the pavement at 100mph.

So no, Kevlar doesn't work like the material in the article. Just my humble opinion.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 08:42 PM
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If it can fit as armor & be loose then a one shot deal to be replaced after, for instance as an armor only. A m/cist could not have a tight fit.

Interesting thing is about how it is woven for what helps to stop a h/gun bullet will NOT stop the point of a knife, so what stops the point of a knife is that different in how it is woven to not be able to stop a bullet.
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