Saturday, July 01, 2006
Goal keepers gloves could be in line for a new development if smart material known as d3o is incorporated into their make up. d3o is normally a flexible material which becomes rigid in response to an impact as the material exhibits "strain rate sensitivity". Flexible materials are made up of molecules which are weakly bound together and can move past each other with ease but with d3o 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. The hardening effect only last as long as the impact itself which would make them ideal for goal keeper’s gloves. Currently the lightweight bendable material is worn under normal ski clothing and used to make better protective gear for skiers on the slalom. Skiers normally have to wear bulky arm and leg guards to protect themselves from poles placed along the slalom run now d30 can replace this. The exact chemical ingredients of d3o remains a commercial secret but the material was synthesised by mixing together a viscose fluid and a polymer. The resulting liquid (d3o) is poured into a mould that matches the shape of the body part it will protect.