Next Generation Body Armor Inspired by Shrimp?
Policemen, soldiers – and perhaps those just preparing for a potential zombie apocalypse – will love this new discovery out of the University of California.
In short, scientists have created a new material that could one day be used to develop a new breed of bulletproof body armor.
The key was to find a unique balance in the material’s structure. As David Kisailis, Chemical and Environmental Engineering Professor says:
“People in the composite and materials industry have been developing materials that are either stiff or they’re tough, and that’s inversely related. [We’ve designed a] composite structure to have both stiff and tough regions in that, which is kind of the Holy Grail in the materials world.”
The researchers are already able to show how the material stops bullets. In fact, with larger caliber rounds, the bullet essentially bounces off completely.
According to chemical engineer, Garrett Milliron, “[With] a 28 mm copper jacketed bullet, you can see it was actually embedded. But a 45 bullet that is a very high caliber, lots of energy, is actually completely blunted and it fell off the composite.”
Impressive, yes. But what’s most interesting about this story, however, is that they got the idea by studying shrimp. Seriously.