Home FAQs

General and Material FAQ’s. Click on any question to display the relevant answer.

What is D3O® the brand?

D3O is a British-based specialist materials company that markets a unique patented technology, used to produce a range of shock absorbing materials and products.

How does the technology work?

D3O® manufactures a smart material with high shock absorbing properties used to make foam and non-foam polymer blends.

In standard conditions, the D3O® molecules within the technology flow freely allowing the material to remain soft and flexible, but on impact, they lock together to absorb impact energy and reduce the force transmitted. The molecules instantly return to their flexible state.

The material is strain rate sensitive which means the stronger the impact, the more the molecules react, and better the protection.

Is D3O® one material?

No! D3O offers a whole host of different material formulations, each engineered for specific markets and applications. Visit our Materials section to find out more.

How do I know which material I need?

D3O® materials are split into 3 categories:

Impact Protection – Our original offering focused solely on shock absorption and flexibility.
Comfort and Cushioning – A range of materials that offer a combination of performance and comfort in a lightweight polymer blend.
Footwear – A range of footwear specific materials for underfoot applications.

I’m confused, do you sell materials or products?

Both! All our materials are available in sheet form and we also sell a number of pre-curved components for applications that we are often asked about. We do a number of limb and back protectors as well as more versatile parts to be used where you need protection.

Where can I buy D3O®?

D3O® is a business-to-business company, supplying partners across the world with D3O® solutions for integration into their product ranges.

How do I start working with D3O® as a Brand?

Simply fill out the enquiry form on the D3O Contact Us page. A member of the D3O® team will then be in touch to better understand your interest.

If you are an individual wanting to use our impact protection solutions please note that we do not sell to the end user. Why not have a look at our partner brands on each market page. Click on a Brand logo to see their latest D3O®-integrated products.

Due to an extremely high number of enquiries, we are unable to respond to student/teacher requests and may not be able to reply to your e-mail.

How many times can D3O® be hit or compressed and still recover?

All D3O® materials are engineered to withstand multiple impacts. However in the cases of extreme forces the ability to recover fully may be compromised. Similarly, the application and environment will affect their ability to withstand multiple impacts.

Are D3O® materials reach compliant?

Yes, They are reach compliant.

Are D3O® materials available in colours other than orange?

Orange is the colour of the D3O brand and therefore the majority of D3O® products are only available in orange. However, in certain markets or applications where alternative colours are necessary, such as defence or PPE, some products are available in other colours – please see relevant product data sheets for more information.

Are D3O® materials UV resistant?

Generally, the physical properties of the D3O® materials show little or no degradation with exposure to UV light. However, small discolouration of the orange may be observed.

Do D3O® materials absorb water?

Generally speaking, D3O® materials do not take on much water. Please see the relevant Material Data Sheet for more information.

What are the melting points of D3O® materials?

D3O offers thermoplastic and thermoset polymers. Thermoplastics, unlike thermosets, can be reshaped by melting. For further information on processing recommendations, please contact D3O.

How do D3O® materials react to petrol and diesel?

D3O offers a range of grades, some of which do not react, some of which may swell. Please see relevant Material Data Sheets for more information.

What is the life expectancy of D3O® products?

The life expectancy will depend on the conditions the material endures and how it is looked after during use and storage.

D3O® protectors are designed to withstand multiple impacts however the re-use-ability of the protectors will depend on the severity of the impact. After any significant impact the protectors should be inspected and if necessary returned to D3O for evaluation.

Can D3O® materials be subjected to secondary processing?

D3O® materials can be co-moulded with other materials using secondary manufacturing steps. Since the pressures and temperatures associated with different secondary processing procedures vary greatly we recommend that each process needs to be assessed on an individual basis.

How do I clean or wash D3O® materials/products?

For CE certified D3O® products please follow the washing guidelines issued in the CE booklet user instructions.

For other parts please use the following caution:

Due to the wide ranging use of D3O® and unique stresses that each application imposes on the D3O® components during use, integration etc, it is very difficult to suggest specific washing instructions, appropriate to each and every application. As a general rule we recommend that D3O® protectors are removed carefully from the garment and are wipe-clean only.

For more details please refer to the D3O® Care & Handling Instructions and individual product data sheets.

Why are D3O® protectors better than hard armour?

D3O® materials react to the unique impact environment e.g. at high speeds they provide a different level of impact protection to at low speeds. D3O®’s foamed protectors are inherently soft and comfortable to wear under your clothes. Because of their high performance levels, they can be lower profile and less bulky, so more people prefer to wear it. D3O® delivers the most flexible, comfortable and discreet protection on the market and it consistently outperforms traditional foam based protection.

What testing capabilities does D3O have on-site?

D3O has small-scale rapid prototyping facilities on-site which enable iterative innovation. D3O runs in-house physical property analysis and performance tests, which are then verified by independent laboratories, such as SATRA, STR, NPL, INSPEC, HPE, MERL, BSI. Visit our D3O Lab section to find out more.

How are D3O smart materials and products developed?

D3O has an in-house team of chemists and designers, who customise the material for bespoke protection. D3O works with industry experts and technical research partners, as well as major global government bodies to ensure every product is fit for purpose.

D3O offers full 360 degree solutions for partners, from brainstorming, idea generation, CAD concepts, prototyping, testing, sampling to production. Visit our Solutions Provider section to find out more.

How are D3O materials and products manufactured?

Across the range of materials, D3O utilises a variety of polymer processing techniques. Please contact D3O to find out more.

How does D3O control quality?

In order to ensure that D3O products are manufactured to the highest quality, D3O has a team of Engineers and QC Inspectors in both the UK and Asia, which work directly with our suppliers on a daily basis.

D3O ensures that suppliers complete sufficient checks throughout the manufacturing process, to ensure all physical properties and visual standard of the parts are acceptable. This is controlled through steps detailed in the D3O Process Control Plan, a document created to detail all of the quality control stages in the manufacturing process, from the arrival of raw material to the outbound inspection of D3O components. As part of the process in addition to the in process manufacturing checks, samples are selected at random and sent to the UK for further performance analysis in the D3O Testing Laboratory.​
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