PORON® XRD® Met Guard – Magic or Advanced Technology?
Every once in a while, a new technology comes along that is so different from the existing technology, that it’s hard to believe, until you experience it. Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the British science fiction novelist, inventor, and futurist stated, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
When we first invented the PORON® XRD® metatarsal guard, working with Tom Cafaro, who is now with G-Form, and Roland Landry of Falcon boots, we were trying to build a lightweight, flexible alternative to the stiff, hard-to-wear and work in, metal and hard plastic met guards on the market at the time. Work boots have used PORON Cushioning for decades to enable workers to do their job in comfort for years. So our idea at the time was to replace a stiff component with a flexible foam that would absorb impact, but still allow a worker to bend and flex their foot as their work needed. It was a good idea, and it worked.
Perhaps it worked too well? When the first set of boots, with the PORON XRD M-Guard built into the tongue of the boot was sent to a third party lab for testing against the ASTM standard, the lab called Roland back and told him, “Hey, you forgot to put the met guard in these boots.” The boot was so different than all the others he had tested that he thought there had been a mistake.
Since then, the PORON XRD M-Guards have been incorporated in many companies’ boots, forming a small revolution within the industry. But in turn, the boot manufacturers have had to convince Safety Managers that the boots truly do protect a worker, in fact better than the alternative, stiff materials. So we went back to an old standby demonstration – show how a competitive product won’t protect a cinderblock from being crushed by a bowling ball, while the Met Guard, made from PORON XRD material, stops the bowling ball cold.
Now, when Safety Managers see the video, or even better, a live demonstration, they become believers. They can understand that the magic is really just a sufficiently advanced technology that helps them achieve workplace safety AND workplace comfort.
Any new advanced technologies that you’ve come across? Let us know!