A hagfish protruding from a sponge.
(Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program)
Slime, foam, glass — not the typical ways to stop bullets cold, but all three on the basis of the most striking body armor breakthroughs of the year.
In 2017, the AMERICAN army was a pioneer in the use of a centuries-old creature slime body armor, made of an ultra-light, glass-like material that can be used as an invisible bullet-proof vests, and successfully tested bullet-shatter armor made of foam.
Here are these three wild, out of the box, the new types of armor which are designed to provide better protection to the law enforcement officials and troops all over the world.
Mucus body armor, a 330-million-year-old creature
(Credit: US Navy, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division)
Mucus of hagfish, a 330-million-year-old creature could be the key to the next level bullet-proof vests.
The monstrous-looking, spineless hagfish lives in the deepest depths of the ocean must be cleaned up and the ocean floor for food, feasting on dying animals from the inside to the outside.
Made of mucus and thread-like fibres, the clear mucus fibers are ultra-strong and flexible. How strong is the hagfish slime for self-defense? The mucus is so powerful that it is the key to surviving extinction after the extinction even went the dinosaurs.
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Although it may look like a snake, the hagfish has no scales. Instead, to defend himself, it unleashes mucus and sometimes even kills his opponent by means of mucus and choking. Even a shark tries to eat a hagfish will find it hard to succeed, and the chance of death by mucus.
The slime quickly expands when it is combined with seawater, creating huge volumes. A single foot-long hagfish can boast hundreds of kilometres of slime wire to the inside: it can extend to 10,000 times in volume in milliseconds.
Experts at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, in Florida, are studying the hagfish slime to use it for military applications. They believe that it would be used for the construction of bullet-resistant armor is stronger and lighter than the ones currently available — even armor such as Kevlar.
Scientists are unlocking the potential outside the body armor of this unique fish, such as the bottling of the slime in a spray for the Navy divers to use against sharks.
Natural hagfish reproduction remains a mystery and the breeding in captivity has not been successful. So how could the Navy for the volumes of mucus is necessary to build armor? Why would the Navy want this to apply on their ships? Where is the mucus be used for the citizens?
Read the full story to get all these answers and much more:
Mucus of 300-million-year-old creature can be used for bullet-proof vests
Foam that pulverizes armor-piercing bullets
Even armor-piercing bullets not by this foam. And it is not only stop bullets, it destroys them, makes rounds in the dust.
This special form of foam, the so-called composite metal foam, or CMF, was developed at North Carolina State University. In tests, the team chance upon a foam body armor with 7.62 x 63mm M2 armor-piercing bullets and on the impact, the foam beaten them to powder.
On the side of the foam armor that is facing the war fighter’s body, the bullet was only able to find the cause of an 8 mm indentation on the back.
The military and law enforcement can use this kind of foam for the advanced, ultra-light body armor to protect staff even of this incredibly dangerous, life-threatening rounds.
The NCSU team is also working on a foam with the potential to keep soldiers and emergency workers safe from radiation and the extreme heat.
How is it made? How can it is also of vital importance for explosives? How could the foam be used in the space?
Read the full story for all the details here:
This foam will stop bullets cold, and pulverizes them to dust
Invisible armor to repair with an iron
U. S. Naval Research Laboratory scientists have a remarkable transparent armor, which is light and still provides excellent protection.
The NRL developed transparent polymer armor consists of alternating layers of synthetic rubber polymer and a harder material on a substrate. Very small crystalline domains, which also provide rigidity, to give the polymer the transparency.
(U. S. Naval Research Laboratory)
Almost as transparent as glass, the armor is essentially invisible protection against bullets. And if the futuristic body armor maintains the number of hits, they can be ironed back into shape thanks to the special material. War fighters could fix it on the fly with something as simple as a hot plate, and the armor will meld itself back together.
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Think about how “bulletproof glass” works: you can see through it and it stops bullets.
Now, what if you could do that for bullet-proof vests and helmets? That is the idea here.
During the tests, the armor also contributed to a reduction of the impact of the blast waves caused by something like an IED explosion, which could help in the prevention of brain injury.
Where in the war zones can offer significant advantages for Special Operations?
How can it be used to protect against terrorist attacks? That popular tourist spots are with this invisible armor walls installed?
Find out all the details in the full story here:
Here is how ‘invisible armor’ could defeat bullets and knives
Allison Barrie is a defense specialist with experience in more than 70 countries, who recommends the highest level of defence and national security, a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees, and author of the definitive guide, Future Weapons: Access Granted, to purchase, in 30 countries. Barrie hosts the new hit podcast “Tactical Talk”, where she gives listeners a direct access to the most fascinating of the Special Operations warriors each week and to learn more about the FOX Firepower host and columnist, click here or follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie and Instagram @allisonbarriehq.