Knox Kinesis body armor deflects impact energy

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It seems obvious. Deflection reduces impact force. But, sometimes achieving the obvious is complicated. The new Knox Kinesis body armor range incorporates a hard outer shell that can slide across the inner padding. When subjected to an oblique impact, the deflection of that shell can reduce energy transmitted to the human body by as much as 25 percent.

Knox is a UK-based company that’s been producing affordable, effective, retro-fittable body armor, back protectors and other protective gear since the idea that motorcyclists need impact as well as abrasion protection has been around. The Kinesis eureka moment came one day in their lab; while routinely measuring the forces transmitted through body armor, a piece slipped out of place, reducing the measured force of the impact. The trick was creating a product that could replicated the advantage in the real world.

There is precedent for such a design. Lazer SuperSkin helmets attempt something similar, mimicking the human skull’s skin covering to create deflection on impact. The human body evolved with all sorts of similar examples. In addition to the scalp sliding and tearing to reduce impact forces to the head, the brain itself sits in a sack of fluid that  prompts slide over squish.

The Kinesis design attaches a hard plastic shell to its gel-like padding with four stretchy tabs. Normally, they simple retain that shell in the middle of the padding, but they’re capable of stretching, allowing the shell to move around in an oblique impact, reducing the force transmitted to the wearer.

Kinesis armor doesn’t appear to have reached the market yet, but expect to see it incorporated into leathers and available as a standalone product soon.

  • http://www.twitter.com/beastincarnate Beast Incarnate

    Gotta love Knox. Even though their gloves are in some serious need of Power Ranger antidote.

  • mchale2020

    It’ll be interesting in hearing about this product as it gets implemented in the market. After low-siding in a Knox equipped suit at Barber’s earlier this year, I was really impressed by how well the armor took the hit. Dare I say that upon impact, I was actually comfortable.

  • MikeD

    Haaaa…cool stuff. Anything to reduce nasty falling injuries is a huge + on my book. I haven’t tested how good is my gear yet. HOPE I never get the chance to.

  • panagiotis

    looks good.

    Im wondering how it’ll last. Will the little arrows degrade with time or normal body movement? So after a couple of months (a year) when you need it it might not work?

  • cdsv

    So if I understand the diagram correctly, when the sperm hits the protector it bounces right off.

    • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk UrbanRider

      Heh, glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that!