Nanotubes may make bulletproof vests as impenetrable as Supermans suit

November 28th, 2007 - 4:28 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, November 27 (ANI): University of Sydney researchers say that carbon nanotubes may make bulletproof materials strong enough to bounce pellets off a persons chest, just like Supermans suit.

The finding attains significance as current antiballistic materials do not possess the ability to rebound the force of bullets, and a user often sustains damage to internal organs despite the failure of a bullet entering the body.

“If the design and manufacture of bulletproof materials and structures can make full use of the carbon nanotubes’ properties as we explored, the ballistic resistance of vests and shields can be much improved,” Discovery News quoted Liangchi Zhang, a professor at the Center for Advanced Materials Technology, as saying.

Reporting their findings in the journal Nanotechnology, the researchers have revealed that the antiballistic materials made of carbon nanotubes can store energy elastically and deflect a bullet before that energy diffuses.

Zhang and his colleague Kausala Mylvaganam analysed the force-repelling properties of a sheet of carbon, just one atom thick. The sheet was rolled into a tube that looked something like a straw.

The researchers then used a piece of diamond as a bullet to test the tube’s strength.

They found that on impact, the carbon nanotube absorbed the energy of the diamond bullet, deforming as it did so. As the stored energy was released, the nanotube sprang back into shape, deflecting the bullet.

It was also found that the bigger the tube, the higher-speed bullet it could handle.

The researchers, however, conceded that their results were theoretical and conducted under ideal conditions. They admitted that the clamping down of the ends of the nanotubes, as seen in the experiments, may not be possible in practice. (ANI)

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