Stronger bullet proof vest in sight

November 14th, 2007 - 8:13 am ICT by admin  
The research has been carried at the Institute of Physics’ Nanotechnology. It details how engineers from the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology at the University of Sydney have found a way to use not only stop bullets penetrating material, but actually rebound their force.

According to Professor Liangchi Zhang from UOS, “The dynamic properties of the materials we have found means that a bullet can be repelled with minimum or no damage to the wearer of a bullet proof vest.”

Most anti-ballistic materials, like bullet-proof jackets and explosion-proof blankets, are currently made of multiple layers of Kevlar, Twaron or Dyneema fibres which stop bullets from penetrating by spreading the bullet’s force. But the problem is that the targets can still be left suffering blunt force trauma, which includes severe bruising or damage to critical organs.

But the elasticity of carbon nanotubes means that blunt force trauma may be avoided and that has inspitred engineers in Sydney to undertake experiments to find the optimum point of elasticity for the most effective bullet-bouncing gear.

Dr Kausala Mylvaganam from the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology in Sydney, said, “By investigating the force-repelling properties of carbon nanotubes and concluding on an optimum design, we may produce far more effective bulletproof materials.

A nanotube is basically a one-atom thick sheet of graphite, rolled into a cylinder that is held together by a very strong chemical bond called orbital hybridisation.

The extra strength that carbon nanotubes have when they bind together is because of the Van der Waals force they share. Van der Waals is the weak attraction that molecules have for one another when they are brought close together, used, for example, by geckos when they stick to a ceiling. (ANI)

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