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D3O (formally "D3o") is a polyurethane energy-absorbing material containing several additives and Polyborodimethylsiloxane[1] a dilatant non-Newtonian fluid.[2]

Polyborodimethylsiloxane[1] is a liquid substance, that in its raw state flows freely when moved slowly, but on shock, locks together to absorb and disperse energy, before returning to its flexible state. The commercial material known as D3O is in essence polyurethane foam with traces of polyborodimethylsiloxane[1] which makes the product rate sensitive thus dissipating more energy than plain polyurethane at specific energy levels. D3O's technology is sometimes used in skiing/snowboarding and motorcycle suits.


British engineers Dr Phil Green and Richard Palmer discovered the material in 1999, first isolating it at the University of Hertfordshire. Palmer and Green went on to found the firm D3O Lab to develop and market the product.[3][4] The company commercialized the D3O material in 2006. In 2009, the UK Ministry of Defence awarded D3O Lab £100,000 to fit helmets in order to reduce the kinetic energy of a bullet or shrapnel on impact, because of its moldable properties.[5]

D3O applications[edit]

An example of D3O being used in a kneepad.

D3O has been applied in the following areas:

  • Military[5]
  • Workwear
  • Medical[6]
  • Sports, including ski and snowboard, lacrosse, baseball, fencing, cricket,[7] volleyball, tennis, squash, ballet, boxing, shooting and sailing, mountain biking and cycling, equestrian and water sports[8]
  • Motorcycle apparel
  • Footwear
  • Cases for electronic devices[9][10]
  • Ice Skating and Figure Skating[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Palmer, Richard (2008). "Energy absorbing material". US Patent 7,794,827 – via USPTO. 
  2. ^ "Shock factor - d3o | Latest Features". physics.org. 2009-05-27. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  3. ^ "A Superhero Suit for Athletes". Businessweek. 2006-10-13. Archived from the original on 2011-08-04. Retrieved 2012-09-07.  Article was written by Maria Kamenev, a BusinessWeek intern.
  4. ^ "Real-life 'Flubber', made in the UK, saving lives in war zones and on the football field". The Daily Telegraph. 2014-08-19. 
  5. ^ a b Harding, Thomas (2009-02-27). "Military to use new gel that stops bullets". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  6. ^ "Hip Impact Protection Ltd is delighted to announce the launch of its innovative, next generation aid in the protection of hips of the frail and elderly, especially those with osteoporosis". hospital-technology.com. 2011-03-15. Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  7. ^ "d3o™". Gm-cricket.com. Archived from the original on 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  8. ^ "Sports - D3O Lab". D3o.com. 2010-09-15. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  9. ^ "The UK's #1 Protective Phone Cases featuring D3O® Technology". Gear4.com. 
  10. ^ "Grip Case >> dbrand". dbrand.com. 
  11. ^ "D30 Ice Skating Pants". 

External links[edit]