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What is Rheology ?

1 August 2011 No Comment

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Rheology in action

For anyone out there who may think rheology is a stressful topic (pun intended), I’d like to share a few visual treats I came across recently.

A video trail

The first in my recommended online viewings is a set of videos on the website of Xion Protective Gear, a company put together by stuntmen in the Netherlands: http://www.stuntpadding.com/. On the home page you will find several entertaining demos and I defy anyone to sit through them without cringing at least once and laughing twice as much.

Those of you who explore a little further will discover that the underlying product is based on d3OTM technology, which to you and I is a high spec silly putty. And, yes, you may well remember the memorable pitch by Jason Roberts on Dragons’ Den (19 August 2009, BBC Two, UK) in which he had multiple Dragons fight for the opportunity to invest, eventually accepting an offer of £150,000 from Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones for a 40% equity in his company, Tech 21, a UK based distributor of d3O based products.

Not so silly putty

In the case of d3O the term ‘silly’ seems like a misnomer!

According to the d3O laboratory website, their patented technology is a polymer composite that contains a chemically engineered dilatant to function as an energy absorber. This means that its “chemical engineering allows the material to be tuned to meet strategic operational and environmental conditions, the rate of impact resistance it needs to withstand and the overall weight of the end component or material. D3O lab develops materials, design and geometry in tandem with our customers to deliver the highest possible performance.” A message that we, as materials characterization experts, understand well at Malvern.

This is rheology in action…pretty exciting stuff after all!