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Based on the previous answer here, concerning hammer-proof armor, one of the easiest way to mitigate blunt force trauma, both from swinging hammers and falling off buildings, are with some sort of dampening soft material. However, a hay bale big enough to pad such blows would have to be pretty thick, being able to deform at least 20 cm, meaning that it needs to be thicker then that, according to the answer.

So, how would one go about creating a condensed version of such hay bales, so that the dampening force is a property of the material, rather than the size and structure of it? The material should preferably be sort of metallic, so I can say they can be forged into stuff, although any other material would work fine.

I am seeking a science-based answer, assuming you could modify the properties of matter with magic. EG: You take a piece of steel and you slide its sheer strength up, or tone down its brittleness.

Price is of no concern, in fact, such a material would be glorious and should not be easy to make.

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  • $\begingroup$ @SerbanTanasa Not sure if this would summon him like this $\endgroup$ – grimmsdottir Feb 7 '15 at 1:32
  • $\begingroup$ I never stated 20cm is enough, as you will surely see when you reread the answer. That was merely the stated amount of deformation incurred by a larger hay bale as a result of a particular kinetic impact. $\endgroup$ – Serban Tanasa Feb 7 '15 at 1:55
  • $\begingroup$ @SerbanTanasa my bad, that means you need even more hay bale then $\endgroup$ – grimmsdottir Feb 7 '15 at 2:06
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I'll go for a more serious answer this time.

What you want is a cushioning material. You specify you want a metallic cushioning material. We'll see about that.

Typical cushioning materials are foams, in various densities and thicknesses, and solid elastomers (polymers with high viscoelasticity). These materials differ both in their relative stiffness (foams are almost universally softer, or more compressible, than solids) but also in their recovery behavior during and after an impact. Quick-recovery materials will return to their original height immediately upon removal of a compressional load (say, a golem fist). Being highly resilient they also return a fairly high percentage of the stored compressional energy in the process. In this category, you have natural rubber, neoprenes, and sponge rubber foams. This is useful if you're dealing with constant loads, such as, in say, a shoe. The two characteristics displayed are cushioning and resilience.

Sadly, this is not what you need. You need damping (low rebound and high energy absorption). Slow-recovery materials do not instantaneously recover their full thickness and therefore do not return stored energy. This low resilience makes them desirable for applications requiring damping. damping vs rebound

In terms of shock absorption, straw bales are not as ridiculous it they might seem, but if you've got cash to spare, you would use Non-Newtonian polymers such as armorgel. The lady in the video I linked specifically wraps her finger in the damping material and hits it with a hammer to demonstrate its impressive shock absorbing properties.

Your warriors would probably still get thrown back by a powerful blow. I suspect that would depend on the energy of the impact and the bracing of the recipient. Short answer is they would probably get thrown back by a strong enough impact, but their armor would also protect them against a fall. They might still break their necks due to acceleration.

Heck, if you want to also stop arrows, just combine it with Kevlar

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  • $\begingroup$ This is perfect. 10/10. I have a friend how would not go a few sentences without mentioning non-Newtonian fluids, but I kept dismissing it as I thought it would be difficult to place on armor. But now I know there are also non-Newtonian polymers as well, which solid-ish at rest, so that would be perfect. But some questions. What happens when the non-Newtonian polymer react when cut or thrust at? $\endgroup$ – grimmsdottir Feb 7 '15 at 3:18
  • $\begingroup$ Combine with Kevlar $\endgroup$ – Serban Tanasa Feb 7 '15 at 3:25
  • $\begingroup$ Huh, in that video, when the lady drops a ball on the non-Newtonian polymer, the ball simply stops dead. If a golem were to launch a horizontal haymaker at a human wearing a gigantic slab of non-Newtonian polymer. Would the human be launched back, but unharmed, or would the fist just stop in front of the plate after the blow? $\endgroup$ – grimmsdottir Feb 7 '15 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ @grimmsdottir it depends on the elasticity of the impact momentum. If it's perfectly inelastic, then the fist would just stop in the plate. But if it's an elastic impact, then either the fist would bump or the man would be launched back. $\endgroup$ – Kristian Feb 7 '15 at 5:13
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure about this answer. The kinetic energy has to go somewhere. The fact that it is absorbed differently may help but you are still going to get thrown around by the blows. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Feb 8 '15 at 18:27

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