Our technology is a complex combination of material engineering and encapsulating methods that result in the perfect pad for each application.
There are several factors that we control and combine to achieve our goal: The type of polymer we use, its viscosity and its composition, the type of encapsulating agent, the thickness of the pad, the way we apply it to garments or other subtracts. But our main element is our polymer.
We call our polymer Zoombang®. Generally speaking, a polymer is a chemical compound that has a base unit that repeats many times. The polymer in Zoombang® padding is also referred to as a Shear Thickening substance. The shear thickening property is one of the key attributes that allow our pads to react to energy the way they do, which is to stiffen in proportion to the energy applied.
So, what does shear thickening mean? It refers to a material’s “stiffening” response to a shear stress, or force, which in our case can occur as shock, vibration, or g-force side loads.
In materials that behave this way the mechanism behind it is shear induced ordering. A common misnomer for shear thickening is dilatant. They are used interchangeably in common use but mean different things to rheologists (the folks who study these things). Dilatant materials (in the classical definition) are typically powders that under shear change their volume.
We also refer to our shear thickening polymer as a Viscoelastic polymer. OK, so what exactly is Viscoelastic? Viscoelasticity is a term used to describe a material that exhibits both viscous (or flow) and elastic properties. Viscosity is a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow and is often characterized by how “thick” a fluid is. Elasticity is the measure of a material’s “springiness.” Like a tight bed spring, a highly elastic material is difficult to stretch and will “spring” back to its original shape much more forcefully than a weak spring like those found in a ball point pen.
The combined properties of the Polymer/Shear Thickening/Viscoelastic material, result in new type of protection that will react to the environment around whatever it is protecting. At rest Zoombang® will simply conform to the exact shape of whatever it is supporting. Add energy, in the form of shock, and the material will instantly stiffen.