Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Bullet-Proof Custard!

Ever been in castard pie fight?

Well researchers at BAE systems in Bristol combined a "shear-thickening" liquid with the existing material used in bullet-proof vests - called Kevlar - to create the new armour.

The chemical formula of the new liquid is being kept secret but scientists say it works by thickening and becoming sticky on impact with a bullet.

BAE describe the new material as "bullet-proof custard". "It's very similar to custard in the sense that the molecules lock together when it's struck."

To test the new armour, scientists used a large gas gun to fire spherical-shaped bullets at more than 300 metres per second. They fired one set of bullets at 31 layers of untreated Kevlar and another set at 10 layers of Kevlar combined with the new "shear-thickening" liquid. The results showed that the Kevlar and liquid mix was more effective, as the Kevlar with the liquid works much faster and the impact isn't anything like as deep.

The new light-weight material could eventually replace the thick, heavy-layered plates of Kevlar used in existing bullet-proof vests for soldiers, in turn reducing soldier fatigue and would be more effective against bullets, shrapnel and in-coming custard pies.

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