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How D3O Works
Basically, in appearance the d3o material is soft and pliable, like a foam, but a little harder. Upon impact it stiffens to protect the point of impact, distributing the force of the impact throughout the rest of the material, and quickly softens again, ready for the next blow.
or… in D3O’s own words:
The functionality of the raw material originates from the synergistic effects of the polymer based dilatants. Energy is distributed throughout the synthetic elastomeric polymer and the enhanced chemistry continues to distribute energy on throughout the matrix, significantly reducing the effect of impact.
D3O Base Materials
These are the three main materials:
SHOCK – resilient and durable – protection for wide range of applications.
FLO1 – flexible and light – ultimate protection for everyday use.
FLO2 – comfortable and diverse – protection for extreme conditions
All D3O CE Certified Parts are assessed and certified by SATRA Technology centre, a UKAS accredited test house and European Notified Body.
D3O Labs is the name of the company that manufactures and markets their d3o protective material. The name d3o is basically a mystery – the manufacturers have only given vague speculations of its origin, that d3o came from the name of the room it was invented or it’s a secret chemical compound that is used in its manufacture, D3O Labs will only say “No comment”.
D3O Labs is the provider of solutions for impact protection material. They manufacture and license their unique patented material, which combines enhanced chemistry and engineering to produce a high performance shock absorbing protective system. It is a high-tech material, in D3O Lab’s own words, “intelligent molecules”, so for lightweight top-quality protective material, built into BMX, mountain bike, ski and snowboard body armor, you ARE getting what you pay for. Material that is as comfortable as, for instance, a soft knee pad but with intelligent molecules that react to impacts, tightening and reflecting the force throughout the material allowing d3o to protect as well as any hard shell knee pad.
When moved slowly the d3o flows freely in its raw state, but on shock, it locks itself together to absorb and disperse energy and instantly returns to its flexible state. The unique characteristics of the d3o material provide enhanced protection, while providing versatile and flexible material that can be applied to many aspects of protective gear.
D3O Material Development
D3O is comprised of a polymer composite which contains a chemically engineered dilatant, an energy absorber. This basic material has been adapted and enhanced to meet specific performance standards and applications. Initially d3o is formed as a gel, almost like a Silly Putty, except that it’s, well, bullet proof. The d3o material used in protective gear applications is almost taffy like, softer and a bit stiffer then any regular foam rubber, a consistency like unto an old foam camping pad, but it doesn’t feel like you could pull chunks off (because you can’t).
D3O Material Versatility
D3O’s chemical engineers their protective material, fine tuning it to meet strategic and environmental conditions. Manipulating the rate of impact resistance and weight of a finished product. The D3O lab creates their materials, each design coinciding with the customers desired needs to deliver the highest possible performance.