The Dow Corning® Active Protection System, a “smart” impact protection textile, was featured in the launch of a revolutionary new protective ski vest at ispo, the International Trade Show for Sports Equipment and Fashion, this February in Munich, Germany.
The Nirvana Protection Vest, from Swiss sports apparel maker Mammut, incorporates patented Dow Corning Active Protection System fabric as its key component. The fabric, treated with a specially formulated silicone coating, remains soft and flexible under normal conditions. When struck by high-impact force, however, the material instantly becomes rigid to help protect the wearer against injury. Once the impact is over, the material immediately becomes flexible again.
According to Mr Sem Hediger, Innovation and Technology Manager for Mammut, the Nirvana Protection Vest is like no other back protector available today. Its innovative design helps protect skiers and snowboarders from impact injury without hindering their freedom of movement and performance.
“When we began to develop this protector vest we knew we needed a high-performance material that met our needs for both protection and comfort,” says Mr Hediger. “The unique properties of the Active Protection System were instrumental in making the Nirvana vest a reality. Other systems we examined simply did not have the same level of comfort, protection and smart design as Dow Corning’s Active Protection System fabric.”
“Because Active Protection System fabric is relatively thin and adapts easily to conventional manufacturing processes, it enabled our designers to make the Nirvana Protection Vest both comfortable and fashionable,” adds Mr Hediger.According to Graham Budden, a Dow Corning chemist, independent testing shows that the Active Protection System exceeds certain European Standards for impact protection in sports apparel by as much as 40 per cent. He explains that the Active Protection System’s superior effectiveness is due to its ability to both absorb and distribute impact force.