New Flexible Ski 'Armor' Hardens On Impact

This came out a while back but this is the first time we've seen it in the wild. The US and Canadian ski teams are sporting a new garb that they now supposedly refuse to ski without: a lightweight material in their body suits that hardens in less than a thousandth of a second, then instantly flexes again. The mesh, called d3o, comes in perforated sheets shaped into pads for different parts of the body.

Its UK developer doesn't want to give away d3o's exact chemical ingredients, but they do say that the material's properties make it just as effective as conventional (and bulky) armor skiers use to protect themselves from slalom poles. It's also being released in products like goal keeper mitts and polo kneepads. The kicker? In the future, the same material could be used for a host of other various applications, such as sound proofing... or the purposefully-vague "flexible ballistic protection."

US and Canadian Skiers get smart armour [ NewScientist.com]