Skiers Get d3o-Based 'Impact Suits'

In their 1971 novel The Flying Sorcerors, science fiction writers David Gerrold and Larry Niven wrote about an impossible idea - a suit that was both flexible all over and hard as armor all over:

It was my impact suit," Purple said. He took a step forward and thumped himself hard in the belly with this fist. His belly was big and soft, so the blow should have made him wince. It did not. I thought for a moment that Purple had become rigid as stone.

"My impact suit," he repeated. "Normally it flows like cloth, but under a sharp blow it becomes a single rigid unit.
(Read more about Gerrold and Niven's impact suit)

Thirty-five years later, US and Canadian skiers get to wear one! Spyder, a skiwear company based in Colorado, is working with d3o labs to incorporate a special material that hardens in "extreme" circumstances (like in a fall, for example).


(Racing 'armor')

The material is one of a class of similar materials that have been used for applications as diverse as body armor and rehabilitative exoskeletons. The material that d3o uses is a mixture of a viscous liquid and a polymer; once the d3o material has been synthesized, it is poured into a mold according to the application. When at rest (or when gently flexed), the molecules within the material can flow past one another. When a sudden deformation is applied, the molecules lock, forming a shield.


(d3o-based ski suits)

Although the material is available only to Olympic atheletes at the present time, Spyder will offer ski racing apparel with d3o technology starting in September of this year.

Find out about other uses for similar materials: take a look at Liquid Armor In Two Flavors: Shear Thickening and Magnetorheological and AKROD v2 - Active Knee Rehabilitation Device. Read more about ski suits at the d3o Lab website; thanks to Ruth Gough of d3o Lab for writing with this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/14/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 11 )

Related News Stories - (" Clothing ")

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

'Power Clothing' - The Seismic 'Super Suit'
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.

Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.' Bruce Sterling, 1988.

Jabil Integrated Textile Heart Monitoring
'Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…' Rudy Rucker, 1988.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.