For those of you who use protective clothing when riding your motorcycle, one of the latest advances in safety technologies comes from D3O Labs.
D3O is a material that you will find more and more in all sorts of clothing meant to protect the person dressed in them. It is not only for the motorcycle world, but in any activity that exposes people to sudden shocks (snow sports, horse riding, military, etc). D3O is also know as dilatant non-Newtonian fluid (like a liquid metal), a material that hardens when exposed to a shock.
What this means, is that the D3O material, an orange putty-like material, is placed in areas that need to absorb a shock. The material itself is soft and deforms easily when moving around. You can barely feel the resistance, in sharp contrast with material like Kevlar.
But when exposed to an impact, for example if you are ejected from your motorcycle and hit the pavement, the D3O material instantly becomes hard as metal and in the process, absorbs the shock. Moments later, it returns to its original soft state.
D3O is slightly more expensive than materials like Kevlar, but because the flexibility and lightweight of D3O, it’s much more usable then other types of protection. You will find D3O nowadays in gloves, jackets, pants and even back packs. Myself, I have a D3O protection for my iPhone, and after having dropped it several times, I’m happy to report that the protection works.
If you’re interested in more information about the making, and the usage of D30, here’s a short video that explains it all.