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Armor

The DARPA competition aims to replace traditional development processes with crowdsourcing

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 study of this marine crustacean may lead to lighter and more resistant materials that ...

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

Marudai's case for the iPhone 4 is so heavily armored that the company claims it can stop ...

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

The piranha-bite-proof scales of the Arapaima fish could serve as the inspiration for body...

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 Extreme Sleeve for Laptop put to the test

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 ...

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

Surface etched aluminum bar (Image: Alchemist-hp)

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

As part of a project to create future body armor offering soldiers greater ballistics protection and ease of movement, scientists and engineers at BAE Systems have developed a liquid which hardens when struck. The technology, dubbed “liquid armor” by its developers, harnesses the unique properties of shear thickening or dilatant fluids that "lock" together when subjected to a force and is designed to enhance the existing energy absorbing properties of material structures like Kevlar.  Read More

Bulletproof vests are built for safety, not for comfort, but breakthrough research from the University of South Carolina suggests soldiers and law enforcement officers of the future might be more casually dressed. The scientists have taken an everyday T-shirt and reinforced it with the boron carbide – an extremely hard ceramic used in bullet proof vests and tanks – to produce a UV protective, lightweight and flexible body armor solution.  Read More

A piece of the boron-nitride nanotube yarn

Not satisfied with your Kevlar body armor? Well, you may be in luck. American researchers have used lasers to create the world’s first practical macroscopic yarns from boron nitride fibers. The development could unlock the potential of the material for a wide variety of applications, including radiation-shielding for spacecraft, solar energy collection, and stronger body armor. If the supplied photo is anything to go by, it also does a great job at holding up a quarter.  Read More

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