New liquid body armor hardens on impact

Dubbed 'bullet-proof custard,' the molecules lock together and thicken when pressure is applied


FastCompany.com

LONDON — Liquid, bullet-stopping body armor. Read that again: Liquid, bullet-stopping body armor. It's not sci-fi, it's real, and a team of U.K. scientists have proven it has a future in protecting soldiers from incoming rounds or shrapnel.

Liquid armor isn't a new idea, oddly enough: As well as being a sci-fi staple (Neal Stephenson's "sintered armor gel" from Snow Crash is a classic example) it's been researched for decades, mainly due to the benefits that a lightweight, flexible but super-strong armored material could offer. But the team from the U.K.'s BAE company has achieved a composite liquid armor solution that they say for the first time demonstrates real battlefield-ready benefits.

The effect relies on a wild and wacky piece of physics known as non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, that is, basically every fluid you've encountered on a day-to-day basis--one where the viscosity is constant. In other words, as you apply more sheer strain to the liquid, the more its sheer stress rises in a predictable way. Forgetting the physics, just think of it as a liquid that reacts pretty much how you'd expect it to.

Read more on FastCompany.com.

Request product info from top Body Armor companies

Thank You!

= required Error occured while sending data

Join the discussion

PoliceOne comments can only be accessed by verified law enforcement professionals.
Please sign in or register to view or write your own comments below.