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.
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.
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.
d3o's body armour claims to be soft and flexible throughout the day, but to harden up instantly under impact. As such it's been a big hit in the snowboarding market, where it can make clothing protective and impact-resistant without it looking like you're wearing armour. But now d3o are branching out into the motorcycle armour market - so how does this thin, bright orange wonder armour compare against the traditional thick foam CE armour pads you find in bike leathers? Editor Noel McKeegan attacks Loz Blain with a heavy frying pan to find out.
They say life imitates art, but any scientist knows that the best designs imitate life. Researchers from the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies
(ISN) are drawing new biomimicry
inspiration for body armor design from a hardy ocean snail that boasts a shell structure unlike anything else seen in nature... or in material research labs.
Casualties in Iraq from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) have dropped as the number of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected
(MRAP) vehicles has increased, but with roadside bombs still responsible for the majority of casualties
to coalition forces in Afghanistan, there is a need for a smaller, more nimble version more suited to its rugged, mountainous terrain. A new concept that would see military vehicles built around a protected personnel compartment and use a sacrificial “blast wedge” to absorb energy could improve safety for the occupants of future light armored patrol vehicles.
are the obvious form of protection for cyclists, and many parts of the world have laws in place making the wearing of them while riding a bike mandatory. But with cyclists being such vulnerable targets on the roads, other protective gear is undoubtedly a good idea - and almost essential for offroaders traversing rugged terrain. The Spine Ergo Flow is a lightweight armor for your spine that is designed to decrease the likelihood of sustaining a serious spinal injury in the event of an accident.
Recent developments in the military sector have demonstrated an increasing importance in protecting troops in the field, whether this be by automating vehicles
or enhancing armor-based protection
and maneuverability. BAE Systems
has decided against picking a specific area to test with its M1151 Survivability concept but, instead, has lumped a range of technologies into a single vehicle, and is currently unveiling the fruits of its research at the AUSA (Association of the United States Armys) annual exposition in Washington.
Developed by UK firm Amsafe
, Tarian cloth is capable of repelling armor-piercing anti-tank warheads by creating a ‘cushion’ between the vehicle’s exterior and typical armor plating, thereby triggering the explosive early and dispersing the force of the blast across the existing armor.
The success of MRAP (Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected) vehicles in saving lives from IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and ambush attacks has seen the US Marine Corp scrambling to accelerate the rate of production by awarding contracts to multiple companies. Oshkosh Defense has now delivered three production-representative MRAP All Terrain Vehicles (M-ATVs) to the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland for military evaluation.