Hey guys.
I am doing a project at uni concerned with preventing neck and head trauma during motorbike accidents, and I am on the lookout for a material that is pliable, yet when pressure or force is applied it goes rigid?

Any help would be much appreciated!


Thats exactly what kind of material im looking for too, for a uni project. Is it a Fabric your looking for or actually a Plastic? :slight_smile:

my application for it is for furniture though

good luck

Look up fictionite or unobtanium :slight_smile:

Seriously, check out memory foam with a rigid backing.

There are materials that become “hard” when force is applied. These materials are referred to as thixotropic. Corn starch dissolved in water is one of these.
As for a polymer or fabric that does this … good luck, I like to hear about it, and so would NASA, GE, GM, Dupont, BASF …

Weeedogeee’s right. That material’s a little of a holy grail right now. But it doesn’t mean people aren’t looking.

Check out MR fluid armor here

And some more info on the fluid here

And a thixotropic fluid based material here

Keep in mind that the MR fluid needs electrical power which might not be the safest thing to rely on in a crash. And the thixotropic stuff stiffens best with impact, rather than sustained force. This is why it would be so nice for bullets, but probably not good for keeping bones from breaking under a sustained load of a motorcycle on your leg.

Thanks dmuren…you dont know how much that has helped me!



No problem. Let us know how the project turns out!