D3O is a developer of smart materials.
In April 2015, Beringea led a £13 million funding round for D3O, a U.K.-based developer of shock absorbing smart materials which are used in a range of protection products. Beringea invested a total of £9 million from its U.K. and U.S. offices along with other current D3O shareholders.
The funds have enabled D3O to invest in a state-of-the-art 28,000 sq/ft HQ in Croydon known as ‘The Lab’. With a dedicated innovation, development and testing centre ‘The Lab’ acts as a knowledge hub - allowing D3O to continue to develop innovative products and material solutions for its global customer base. Further investment has also been made into plant and machinery and the large new office will allow space for D3O to expand its growing team of highly skilled chemists, engineers and designers.
D3O’s technology, for which it holds global patents ensuring that no other company can offer the same type of protection, has a myriad of applications and the firm develops impact protection solutions for a range of markets. These include various sport disciplines, motorcycling, work wear, and accessories for electronic protection, such as iPhone cases and computers. The company also works with military and law enforcement agencies and has developed ‘D3O Covert’, a product which was originally designed as a blunt force impact vest for the French Gendarmerie.
The technology is based on non-Newtonian principles: in standard conditions, the raw material’s molecules 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 raw material is strain rate sensitive which means the stronger the impact, the more the molecules react, and the better the protection.