Part of the fun of being an industrial designer is getting to spec out different materials, like chefs assembling ingredients. For Cygnett's WorkMate line of protective cases, ID'ers Shannon Brown and Haydn Smith have whipped up a tasty stew of thermoplastic polyurethane, silicone and deliciously rubberized polycarbonate. The combination was chosen to pack a lot of shock absorbency into a slim package while still providing a measure of ergonomics; the rubbery texture means it's less likely to fly out of your hand, but if it does, the protective design does the rest.
[The WorkMate] is a tri-material extra protective case [featuring] an integrated tough TPU inner chassis with a rubberized PC shell with silicone inlay.... It has impact absorbing corners and textured panels for advanced grip....
...The silicone inner is spark-etched and treated with oil paint to repel fingerprints and minor marks. It sits inside a heavy-duty polycarbonate shell, coated with rubber paint for a matte finish. The silicone has inner ridges to create a cavity at the rear of the device and disperse point of impact shocks. The silicone protrudes beyond the polycarbonate on the front and back to create non-slip 'feet' and reduce wear to the polycarbonate.
Larger and more protective than a traditional polycarbonate case, the WorkMate is intended to be included on a tool belt or construction site. The treatments and finishes reference industrial machinery, the triggers and housing of power tools and tread plate steel.
Putting their money where their mouth is, Cygnett had Brown and Smith drop a WorkMate-swaddled Samsung S4 from increasing heights onto a concrete floor: