Possibly the best Body Armour

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The other day I remembered something I read in a book a while back that I figured would be a good post for the blog. The premise of the book was about a super classified special operations team that worked to eliminate possible treats before anyone else even heard of the treats. The teams first mission was to figure out why and what kind of disturbance there was in one of the governments top secret research facilities. Upon getting to the site the team finds all the guards dead. As they make it to the part of the facility where the research was being done they see the enemy walk out the door. This ensues in a gun fight where the enemy is able to get in  close to a few of the members and disarm them all while being shot. It turns out that the enemy infiltrator was wearing what looked like a wet suit. Later the Spec Ops team finds out that the intruder had been wearing Liquid Body Armour. Liquid Body Armour is not science fiction but actually is in development today.

Background History

There have always been problems and issues with Armour since the days that they were invented. Armour has always been heavy, bulky, and made general movement difficult. For example if you look at medieval knights Armour it is as described above heavy, and bulky, and incredibly hard to move in. While the Armour was great to deflect blows from other weapons it slowed the user down to virtually a crawl. Also to allow to the user to move the joints in the arm and legs were usually not protected and bound together by cloth or leather. This made for weak points in the Armour.

Modern Armour is almost exactly like medieval Armour to certain extents. Modern Armour is usually made out of Kevlar (which is a cloth material) that can be combined with ceramic plates for added protection. The problems with this Armour is that it only covers our chest area, and a helmet protects your head. Just like in ancient times the Kevlar Armour is heavy often weighing greater than 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds). This is because Kevlar vest require 20-40 layers to be effective at protecting the person wearing it.

Liquid Body Armour

Liquid body Armour is being researched and created at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. The reason they are making this Armour is because it is lighter, more flexible, and allows the user free range of motion not impaired by bulky Armour. The main ingredient in liquid Armour is a shear thickening fluid. STF is composed of hard particles (nano-particles of silica) that are suspended in polyethylene glycol. This liquid is stable in a wide range of temperatures. For more specific information on how STF works visit this site.

Regular Kevlar layers are soaked in the STF liquid which makes them stronger and lighter due to the decrease in layers needed to make the vest. It also becomes a lot more flexible because its only a slight bit thicker than regular clothing. The way the Armour works is as follows: During regular wear or use of the material it remains in a liquid state. However when the material encounters friction or force it hardens in a matter of milliseconds.

Since this material is so flexible the researchers are trying to put this Armour in all kinds of clothing and equipment to help protect the soldiers.The final goal for this material is to make it stronger, lighter, and cheaper than regular Kevlar but at the same time having a lesser thickness and being more flexible.

Here is a link for a longer video that can give you more visual information.

Liquid Armour

1 Comment

I never thought about this before. This is very interesting and could be a revolutionary article that could make the army of the USA even more advanced.

According to bodyarmornews.com.htm they hope to have this body armor up and running in two years. This article states, "To keep the STF inside the Kevlar, any carrier is going to have to be impervious to the STF, and that may make it effectively sweat-proof, too. Body armor has never been comfortable when it’s hot, but most models allow for some 'wicking' or other moisture transport to keep the wearer relatively dry of perspiration." This is one of the only negative traits that was stated in this article. Are there any other bad traits? Why has this not been developed sooner?

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