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High-tech cushioning and energy-absorbing materials in protective gear

July 12, 2022

The most common energy-absorbing buffer material is EVA, or EVA foam (ethylene vinyl acetate), which is available in a variety of densities and formulations.

The material is soft and easily compressed or distorted, and some manufacturers have introduced more advanced materials to improve comfort, reduce weight and increase impact energy absorption. Common materials are D3O, VPD, and Poron.

High-tech cushioning and energy-absorbing materials in protective gear
High-tech cushioning and energy-absorbing materials in protective gear
High-tech cushioning and energy-absorbing materials in protective gear
High-tech cushioning and energy-absorbing materials in protective gear


D3O material remains in a relaxed state under normal conditions, soft and elastic. Once it is violently impacted or squeezed, the molecules immediately lock into each other, quickly tighten and harden to digest external forces, forming a protective layer. When the external forces disappear, the material will return to its original relaxed soft elastic state.

It can react differently to different shock situations in nanoseconds. D3O is a quarter the thickness of a high-density sponge for resisting the same force of impact.

Because of these properties, D3O materials are widely used in sports equipment and outdoor clothing. The protective gear made of it is much lighter than the traditional one and fits well with the protective part without affecting human movement.

D3O have life, life is 2 ~ 3 years or so, usually depending on the use of scenarios such as impact rate, pressure, and the use of the environment, in the normal range of pressure and normal temperature inside the lock release to about 100000 times a year or so, extreme pressure cases affect fully recover, if more than the limit, according to the maintenance and storage, Materials will gradually age and lose their effect.


VPD is a kind of armor protection material independently developed by POC of Sweden. VPD 2.0 is one of the materials of POC as a bulletproof vest, which has the ability to resist impact and tear in addition. VPD is soft and comfortable, lightweight and strong, but POC also does not recommend long-term exposure to cold conditions.

VPD is resistant to aging and lasts longer than D3O. However, the energy absorption effect is not as high as D3O, the compression reaction is not as fast as D3O's molecular locking reaction, the feeling of absorbing impact force is safer and more comfortable than D3O, the vibration and impact are more intense, while D3O has a better feeling of protection and impact resistance and higher technological content.

But without VPD durable anti-aging, VPD does not have these problems, so D3O can see a special gasket replacement, and VPD is generally fully closed and does not need to be replaced.


Poron is a high-performance high-density polyurethane foam, developed by Rogers Company in the United States, commonly known as a high-density sponge.

Poron presents a kind of high density, the cellular structure of fine and homogeneous, high sealing, high energy absorption, high buffer, no pollution, high flame retardant, and high compression reducing the wait for a characteristic, according to the needs of practical application, is divided into many kinds of different density and hardness, a wide range of applications, the price also relatively VPD, D3O is much cheaper, It's something we see in protective gear. Poron also has the characteristics of being very durable, not easy to age, and there is no too strict use of environmental restrictions, no D3O or VPD as the requirements for environmental temperature.

Poron XRD material reduces the weight and improves the energy absorption rate, so it is widely used in all kinds of protective gear as a buffer energy absorption pad.

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