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Hit me with your best non-Newtonian fluid

October 7, 2013

How could I not click on a link entitled “Smack Me on the Head With a Shovel“? The video demonstrates the amazing properties of D30, a material that varies its density with pressure rather than, as most things do, with temperature. You can make a non-Newtonian fluid out of cornstarch and water — I certainly did, as a kid, and enjoyed how it dripped through my fingers but resisted the squeeze of my hand. Low pressure, low density. High pressure, high density.

Although this is the first I’ve heard of it, D30  has been in commercial use since 2006, lining jackets for military personnel and motorcyclists, cases for cell phones, and even the soles of shoes, responding to pressure with lightning speed — say, the pressure provided by an incoming shovel (gif).

As if that weren’t crazy enough, I’m actually more frightened watching the knee shot (gif).

It is not the best, safest idea to hit someone on the head with a shovel. Of course. Using impact gel like this on stage would be asking — begging — for a serious injury, but this is the concept piece. Now I really want to play around with it! I’m sure we could find — or someone has already found — some cool-looking, non-joint-busting applications, where a small patch in the right spot for the right move would make a fight extraordinary.

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