Why OBO chose not to use D3O

A little over 7 years ago, a radical new protection polymer called D30 was offered to OBO

A little over 7 years ago, a radical new protection polymer called D30 was offered to OBO. Because we are always trying to improve our products we were excited by the potential of D30 so our designer made a special trip from New Zealand to England to meet with the creators of D30. He returned home with lots of information and some samples which we tested in the purpose built OBO impact lab … The O lab.

Our impact lab testing showed that while D3O weighed more than two and half times the OBO polyethylene and EVA foams, it provided significantly less protection when dealing with the high speed and highly localised impact encountered with a hockey ball.

Have a look at the results on the following impact graph (the horizontal axis is speed, the vertical transmitted force)


While we are sure D30 is an excellent material in certain usage situations, on the basis of our laboratory testing results, we decided not to use D30 in our hockey protection products.

If you are really interested in all learning more about this, please drop us a line at info@obo.co.nz

The 100kmph Creme Egg!


Here at OBO were all about making the best products that are specific to Hockey ie: the impact of a hockey ball. Before now, we really had to test the equipment using an ‘Ouch!’ factor… Now we have quite possibly the most advanced lab in the Southern Hemisphere for testing the impact of hockey balls on different materials, helmets, kickers…and now a Creme Egg!

We will be showing some of our test results from our helmets soon on this KR2.0 site very soon so keep your eyes pealed.

In the mean time we caught a bit of the Easter spirit and thought it would be fun to see what happens when our crash test dummy Noddy tried to eat a Creme Egg.

the 100k creme egg

Check out the video below to find out what happened …

There’s another thing to tick of your list of things to do…

Happy Easter!

Testing Times

What use would Kiwi sports equipment manufacturer OBO have for high-speed cameras, capable of capturing 2,000 frames per second? The answer to that question isn’t that obvious, but damn cool. Read more about OBO and Nightside Test Design’s clever use of high-tech gear for designing their products.

When you’re in the business of creating safety equipment but have no safe way to test it, what do you do? If you’re Kiwi sports equipment manufacturer OBO, you team up with test engineers Nightside Test Design to create an award-winning specialist electronics and software system.

“Before now, we really had to test the equipment using an ‘Ouch!’ factor,” says OBO test engineer Reuben Parr.

The two New Zealand companies worked together to develop a cannon that can replicate a hockey puck flying at full speed, and combined it with motion sensors, a camera and a data-capture system.

“Essentially what we’ve done is recreated an airbag test for a car in a laboratory environment for less money,” says Nightside managing director Peter Brown (above). “What that’s done is lowered the cost of access for video analysis for smaller companies like OBO.”

The system allows OBO to test and analyse its own products, as well as test competitors’ products and analyse their strengths and weaknesses.

“The unique thing is you can get high-speed video data from the sensors and then see what is happening through 2,000 frames per second,” says Parr. He is just one of the designers now toiling away on the prototype of a new field hockey short-corner helmet, utilising the test results. “You can see the shock waves acting on the design of the helmet.”

Below: The OBO/Nightside high-speed image and data-capture facility allows product designers at OBO to analyse forces acting on protective hockey gear and design according to what they can see is happening, rather than the results after impact

He’s staying mum on the finer details of the helmet, which will be released early in 2009, but it will be lighter and stronger with good visibility and ventilation. “This knowledge has really allowed us to hit a sweet spot with our design, and know what the outcomes will be,” says Parr.

Since working with OBO, the Nightside testing unit has been recognised at the Australasian 2008 EDN Innovation Awards, winning the top prize in the Best Application of Test or Data Acquisition Equipment category.

Magazine illustration

Via Idealog