If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I’m willing to bet that you’ve been asked that question before – one that’s always been in the realm of fantasy.
For example, like me, maybe you’ve always wanted to have Superman’s flying abilities.
Or maybe you want the ability to read minds like Sandu from the comic, Marvel. Or to have an invincible, bulletproof exterior like Batman.
Whatever it is, you might as well forget it. I mean, superhero-like powers are nothing more than dreams.
Or are they?
Poland: The Home of Mad Scientists
Researchers in Poland have discovered a magical liquid that acts as body armor.
Now, as you can imagine, the manufacturer of this liquid, MORATEX, has kept its formula and ingredients top secret… but the company is more than happy to showcase the liquid’s attractive characteristics.
At first blush, it’s hard to envision how liquid body armor would work. I mean, do you just get dunked into an impermeable, crystal-like concoction, and emerge with invincible protective powers? Not quite…
The liquid is referred to as shear-thickening fluid (STF). STF is unique in that it’s non-Newtonian. That’s scientific terminology for, “It doesn’t dissipate when struck at force. Instead, the liquid hardens, dispersing energy over a large area,” according to Reuters.
In practical terms, it could be the determining factor between life and death.
Ready. Aim. Fire.
For example, when fitted into a vest, STF stops bullets going at a velocity of 450 meters per second. What’s more, it also prevents the deadly ricochets that are commonly seen with standard Kevlar bulletproof vests.
According to Marcin Struszczyk, MORATEX Institute of Security Technologies’ Deputy Director for Research: “Even in cases when there is no penetration through the protective layer, the user can lose his or her life, or be badly injured. Thanks to the liquid’s properties, we eliminate 100% of this threat because we’ve reduced the deflection from four centimeters to one centimeter.”
Indeed, this liquid-based solution has proved resistant to a wide range of projectiles, per ballistic tests.
According to laboratory tests at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the University of Delaware, “STF-treated Kevlar is as flexible as plain, or neat, Kevlar. The difference is that it’s stronger, so armor using STF requires fewer layers of material. Four layers of STF-treated Kevlar can dissipate the same amount of energy as 14 layers of neat Kevlar.
“In addition, STF-treated fibers don’t stretch as far on impact as ordinary fibers, meaning that bullets don’t penetrate as deeply into the armor or a person’s tissue underneath. The researchers theorize that this is because it takes more energy for the bullet to stretch the STF-treated fibers.”
Take a look at it in action…
While there’s no exact date, MORATEX promises that police and the military will be able to purchase its liquid-based body armor sooner rather than later.
With new technology and innovation continuing to advance at a rapid pace, maybe our childhood fantasies aren’t dead after all.
Albert Einstein said it best, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
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