In today’s society, both technology and advanced armor are priorities to the world’s governments, for power and protection reasons. When it comes to army protection a material called Kevlar is the most used.
Para-aramid synthetic fiber, or Kevlar, was developed by Stephanie Kwolek back in 1956. This high strength material started in the market as a replacement for steel in racing tires. But today’s use includes tires, racing sails and especially body armor.
Thanks to Kevlar’s strength it acts as 5 times stronger than steel, providing protection to those who wear the material.
Recently, a team of scientists discovered a new material that will embarrass Kevlar’s abilities to protect.
Composite Metal Foams (CMFs)
The new material was developed by researchers at North Carolina State University, finding that the CMFs had an excellent thermal protection, when being compared to regular metal and it managed to turn armor piercing bullets into dust when in touch with the material.
The team studied the lightweight of the CMFs and found that it possessed air pockets inside the metal foams. These air pockets are able to block the heat of the upcoming impact.
The CMF’s are made from what researchers call “composite metal foam” that acts as an armor able to destroy bullets created to pierce what is set upfront.
“The presence of air pockets inside CMF make it so effective at blocking heat mainly because heat travels more slowly through air than through metal,” said Mechanical engineer Afsaneh Rabiei, who was involved in the project.
The CMFs is made from stainless steel, carbon steel and implanted titanium with a metallic matrix of aluminum.
To elaborate the material, scientists applied two technologies. First, they made a low melting point matrix material with aluminum that was surrounded by hollow spheres, given the fact that the material has a higher melting point.
The other technique was using prefabricated hollow spheres surrounded with matrix powder, creating a steel- steel CMFs
“We could stop the bullet at a total thickness of less than an inch, while the indentation on the back was less than 8 millimeters. The National Institute of Justice standard allows up to 44 millimeters indentation in the back armor, the presence of air pockets inside the CMF make it so effective at blocking heat mainly because heat travels slowly through air than through metal,” said Rabiei, explaining the functions of the material.
The CMFs is extremely lightweight, allowing its use not only for body protections but for other protection causes, such as the transportation and storage of hazardous materials, nuclear elements and heat sensitive materials.
Source: The Monitor Daily