Richard Palmer on Engineering and Innovation

Posted on September 1, 2007  Comments (1)

Q and A: Richard Palmer interview

Palmer: d3o is a soft, flexible material that combines properties associated with liquids and enables them in solids. Normally the study of mechanics of materials in solids is entirely different to the study of fluids and what I have done is combine the two. The fluid properties that are incorporated in d3o allow it to be stretchable, soft, to flow and to feel comfortable. But in an impact, that fluid turns into an elastomer and everything locks together to dissipate, spread and absorb the impact.

CNN: Can you go into the applications of that?
You can use d3o in sportswear where you want freedom of movement and dexterity but also want some impact absorption. It’s in footwear, headwear, gloves, clothing and boots.

It means people can get on with their sport without being confounded by pieces of bulky, rigid plastic and cumbersome, stiff foams. It’s the difference between Robocop and Spiderman. Robocop is built with protection around him like a shield; d3o is more like Spiderman, where the protection and the athlete are integrated together. It’s a discrete, small and totally unrestricted layer of protection in the areas where you need it that wouldn’t previously have been possible.

CNN: What advice would you give someone who wanted to become an innovator?
Open your eyes to both creative and analytical thinking. Scientists aren’t just boffins; creatives aren’t just mad lunatics. There’s a huge opportunity to dovetail the two. And follow something you believe in.

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One Response to “Richard Palmer on Engineering and Innovation”

  1. John
    September 2nd, 2007 @ 7:43 am

    Thank you for bringing such nice posts. Your blog is always fascinating to read.

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