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Armor

Scientists have theorized that paper-thin composite nanomaterials could stop bullets just as effectively as heavy weight body armor, but progress has been hampered by their inability to reliably test such materials against projectile impacts. Researchers at MIT and Rice University have developed a breakthrough stress-test that fires microscopic glass beads at impact-absorbing material. Although the projectiles are much smaller than a bullet, the experimental results could be scaled up to predict how the material would stand up to larger impacts. Read More
What would you do if your 12 year-old son announced that he’d like to dress up as the armor-clad Emile character from the game Halo: Reach for Hallowe’en? While many parents might just take a cursory look for a cheap, ready-made costume, that’s not what Steve Sobchyshyn did. Instead, he spent an estimated 150 hours and a couple of hundred bucks building his own from scratch. The end result, we’re sure you’ll agree, was well worth it. Read More
Body armor is a blessing and a curse for soldiers. Modern tactical armor has saved thousands of lives from bullets and bombs, but it can also be a major problem if it doesn’t fit properly. That’s what the women who make up 14 percent of the U.S. Army face on a regular basis. Now, according to the Army News Service, the Army is preparing to test a new armor that is tailored to the female form to replace the standard men's armor that the women now use. Working on data collected in studies overseas and at stateside army bases, the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier has identified several problem areas and has developed a new armor that will be tested in 2013. Read More
The U.S. Defense Department think tank DARPA is offering up to US$30 million in prize money as part of a competition to introduce crowdsourcing to heavy weapons development and manufacturing. By adopting the”democratized” strategy of crowdsourcing for the development of the Fast, Adaptable Next-Generation armored vehicle (FANG), DARPA hopes to speed up the design and manufacturing of such weapons while reducing costs and introducing greater design flexibility. Read More
The mantis shrimp is a fascinating creature that has the ability to punch its prey into submission with a club that accelerates underwater at around 10,400 g. By studying the secrets behind this formidable weapon, a Californian researcher hopes to develop an innovative, hi-tech material that is one third the weight and thickness of existing body armor. Read More
When it comes to iPhone cases, people usually want them to do two main things: protect their prized phone and be comfortable to use (and possibly charge the phone like the JuiceTank or the Sandberg BatteryCase). If you're willing to sacrifice comfort for more durability however, Japanese company, Marudai Corp. has got the product for you. Its newest case for the iPhone 4 is so heavily armored that the company claims it can stop a direct hit from a .50 caliber bullet, while keeping your smartphone intact. Read More
Here's a question - if piranhas are so ferocious and will attack anything, why aren't they the only fish in the Amazon? Well, in some cases, it's because other fish possess bite-proof armor. The 300-pound (136-kg) Arapaima is just such a fish. In the dry season, when water levels get low, Arapaima are forced to share relatively small bodies of water with piranhas. Their tough-but-flexible scales, however, allow them to remain unharmed. A scientist from the University of California, San Diego is now taking a closer look at those scales, with an eye towards applying their secrets to human technology such as body armor. Read More
G-Form has taken its expertise in protecting the bodies of cyclists and skaters and applied it to consumer electronics, first with a case for iPad that's tough enough to withstand a bowling ball attack and now with what's billed as "the world's most rugged case for laptops." Made from a flexible, lightweight material that hardens upon impact, the Extreme Sleeve for Laptop will ship at the end of May in 11”, 13” and 15" sizes. Could be just the thing if you're looking to drop your MacBook off a balcony ... Read More
BAE Systems has presented the fruits of its Future Protected Vehicle program (FPV) to the U.K. Ministry of Defence, and it's an intiguing glimpse of the what we can expect to see in tomorrow's high-tech battlefield. With input from over 35 organizations, the FPV study is aimed at identifying "innovative technologies and concepts for short, medium and long term exploitation into future lightweight land platforms." Hundreds of new technologies were canvassed in the study and seven platform concept vehicles have been floated to showcase the most significant of these, including the use of electronic ink camouflage systems, microwave weapons, floating electro-magnetic armor and a type of mechanical "sweat" that reduces thermal signature. Read More
Using a technique that creates a new nanoscale architecture, researchers have created an aluminum alloy just as strong as steel but with reasonable plasticity to stretch and not break under stress. Importantly, the technique of creating these nanostructures can be used on many different types of metals and the team plans to work on strengthening magnesium, a metal that is even lighter than aluminum that could be used to make strong, lightweight body armor for soldiers. Read More
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