Gigglebit: D3o’s weird and wonderful protective quality

31 Dec 2014

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note. Today we look at D3o, something Achilles should have made his socks out of.

D3o looks like a putty, feels like a putty, but can take one hell of a beating. Because it’s bendy and thin, it can be orchestrated into varying shapes and sizes, so things like elbows and knees can be far better protected.

Entrepreneurs have popped up with clever ideas of how to use this polymer. There are smartphone cases, billed as bulletproof, protective clothing and plenty of other impact reductive products out there.

Researchers in the UK developed the polymer at the turn of the millennium. D3o has incredible energy-absorptive properties. It is gooey and bendy in its raw state and melts out of position at room temperature, but when shocking impact occurs it seizes up, absorbing the blow, dispersing the energy and then returning, fairly immediately, to its raw state.

This is basically a terribly cool substance, and I really wish I had some to mess around with.

Orange putty image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic