Coming soon: Body armour that is tougher than bullet proof Kevlar

October 23rd, 2010 - 1:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Oct 23 (ANI): It’s light, cheap and it is stronger than the previous record holder, bulletproof Kevlar - it’s a new kind of material that could lead to more economical and even printable body armour.

Scientists in Israel have developed the hardest organic material known to man. The transparent material is similar to the beta-amyloid proteins found in patients with memory-robbing Alzheimer’s disease.

“In principle it may be possible,” to print body armour, Discovery News quoted Ehud Gazit, a scientist at the Tel Aviv University, as saying.

“But we are thinking of more straightforward uses: to improve the mechanical properties of composite structures, such as ceramics and bulletproof glass,” he added.

The material is similar to the brain plaque linked with Alzheimer’s disease. Dozens of amino acids form those beta-amlyoid proteins. The new synthetic proteins only have a fraction of those amino acids and are covered with an additional protective layer to create super-strong spheres.

Only a diamond-tipped probe could penetrate the material — and to make a dent the probe needed twice the pressure of what it would take to make a mark in Kevlar.

“We have several patents and it is being licensed, so we hope to see it on the market soon. But it always takes more time than one expects. Kevlar was invented in the 1960s but only in the 1980s did it become incorporated into body armour,” said Gazit. (ANI)

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