Skip to main content

Hard on Impact: Pliant at Rest

These are rate-dependent materials, they harden on impact but are pliant when treated gently.   Randa applications? Security wallets, hard shell cases, belt buckles, tie bars, footwear toe caps, other? DJK

A Polymer to Protect Phones From Impact

The super-shock-absorbent material called non-Newtonian polymer inspires a lot of don’t-try-this-at-home stunts, like getting whacked in the head with a shovel through a layer of the stuff.
But these materials are also used in protective clothing for skiers and motorcyclists, and – no surprise here – cases for phones.
A company called Tech21 from Britain has been producing protective cases using the polymer D30 for T-Mobile, but in May it spun off its own line.
These materials, also know generically as “rate-dependent materials,” work by having their molecules freeze in place when struck hard, but are pliant when moved gently — just like water, which is a rate-dependent material of a sort. If you lower yourself into a bath there is little resistance. But slap the water hard with the flat of your hand and it will leave your palm stinging.
Tech21 has put D30 in cases for a variety of phones including those from Apple, HTC, Samsung and RIM as well as some tablets and e-readers.
Most of the cases are like the bumpers you see on iPhones, a protective strip of material that surrounds the outer edges. The D30 shows as an orange stripe on the part of the case where the company says a phone is most likely to take a jolt. An upcoming case will also have a D30 pad in the back.
The phone cases range in price from $30 for the Impact Band to $136 for the underwater Submariner case.
When it comes to product stunts, though, you have to hand it to a company called G-Form, which also uses rate-dependent polymers in its products. It recently had B.A.S.E. jumpersdrop an iPhone from 1,000 feet to demonstrate the effectiveness of its padding.

Popular posts from this blog

Discounts, Discovery & Delight: 3Ds for Retail Success

In fashion and retail, Dopamine is the drug of choice. Technically, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of “desire.” Dopamine leaps across synapses in our brain to control our reward and pleasure centers. It enables craving. It induces repeat behaviors. It makes us want more. Therefore, it is in our best interest to create products and experiences which induce the release of dopamine in our consumers. We could use some dopamine for ourselves, too. In our fashion and retail world, there are three primary stimuli, "3Ds," we can control to deliver hits of dopamine: Discounts, Discovery and Delight.

Taking Tips From a Younger Generation

Phyllis Korkki, an assignment editor at The New York Times, visited the garment district in Manhattan to interview designers as part of a story for the newspaper’s Snapchat account. Credit George Etheredge/The New York Times
What Could I Possibly Learn From A Mentor Half My Age? Plenty.

How on earth did I become an “older worker?”

It was only a few years ago, it seems, that I set out to climb the ladder in my chosen field. That field happens to be journalism, but it shares many attributes with countless other workplaces. For instance, back when I was one of the youngest people in the room, I was helped by experienced elders who taught me the ropes.

Now, shockingly, I’m one of the elders. And I’ve watched my industry undergo significant change. That’s why I recently went searching for a young mentor — yes, a younger colleague to mentor me.

Beware of Wombats & Other Vampires

You are surrounded by dangerous WOMBATS. They’re everywhere. Sometimes they hide in plain sight, easy to spot. Other times they are well camouflaged, requiring heightened awareness to identify them. You need to stay alert, it’s important to avoid them. WOMBATs resemble ordinary, productive tasks. However, they are vampires for time and resources, weapons of mass distraction.WOMBATs are seductive. Working on a WOMBAT feels productive.WOMBATs are bad for your career.WOMBATs are bad for your business.WOMBATs infiltrate your work day (and your personal time). Strike them down.WOMBATs may be be ingrained in your company culture: “We’ve always done it that way…” WOMBAT Metamorphosis Alert: A task or project that wasproductive in the pastcanevolve into a WOMBAT in today's environment.Your comfort zone is populated with WOMBATs.More on comfort zones, here.Some people are WOMBATs in disguise. Stay away from them, they are vampire WOMBATs.If you don’t control your WOMBATs, your WOMBATs will…