Thursday, April 29, 2004

Liquid Body Armor

That's right. Soak kevlar vests in this new solution and you've got some pretty effective and high tech armor.

This type of body armor is light and flexible, which allows soldiers to be more mobile and won't hinder an individual from running or aiming his or her weapon.

"During normal handling, the STF is very deformable and flows like a liquid. However, once a bullet or frag hits the vest, it transitions to a rigid material, which prevents the projectile from penetrating the Soldier's body," said Dr. Eric Wetzel, a mechanical engineer from the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate who heads the project team.

"The sky's the limit," said Wetzel. "We would first like to put this material in a soldier's sleeves and pants, areas that aren't protected by ballistic vests but need to remain flexible. We could also use this material for bomb blankets, to cover suspicious packages or unexploded ordnance. Liquid armor could even be applied to jump boots, so that they would stiffen during impact to support Soldiers' ankles."

Apparently the armor is even stab resistant, something that normal kevlar can't do. Sounds good, lets get it out there in the field. There have been ongoing complaints from soldiers that they are too lightly armored. Families have been buying their children body armor and sending it to them in Iraq because the military is short. Also, the soldiers in Iraq are short on armored Humvees. I read somewhere that the military was disallowing the custom modifications some soldiers were making on the vehicles because they weren't official equipment. Something's gotta be done about all that, the least they can do is equip these guys properly (it keeps morale up too).

Article here.


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