A changeable material that alters depending the force that is put on it could be used as part of helmets to protect the military in combat situations.
The technology from D3O, an impact protection company, is currently used to produce a shock-absorbing material for a range of products from footwear to military equipment.
The company has now developed the technology into a new foam, which is to be used inside helmets for soldiers.
If the original material is moved slowly, as show in the video below, then it behaves more like a liquid. Whereas if it is moved very quickly it behaves with some of the properties of a solid.
This can lead to it being used for protection from high impacts.
Military engineer, James Fyfe, said: “The new military helmet line we are making is called the shock absorbing helmet solution. It is performing to a higher velocity impact.
“We’ve designed new foam to attenuate this level of impact which is designed to take two impacts at a very high energy to provide the soldier with a comprehensive level of protection.
“This is something that no-one else has done yet so it is a very innovative product and it is going to be the first to market with a really high performing helmet line.”
Explaining how the material works, Louise Wilson, communications and marketing manager at D30, said it can be changed to suit a range of different purposes.
Because it is a “rate-sensitive material”, the harder the impact the greater the reaction of the material.
“In standard conditions it behaves like a liquid – the molecules flow freely – but then under stress but under strain or impact it behaves like a solid and the molecules lock together to absorb and dissipate impact energy,” she said.
The technology, which is patented, has been used in electronic products and was even used by the US and Canadian ski teams during the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Video produced by 7 Storey Media