Scientists Developing Liquid Body Armor
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and the University of Delaware’s Center for Composite Materials formed a joint venture three years ago to develop a liquid body armor.
The liquid, consisting of particles suspended in fluid that are then soaked in Kevlar, is currently able to stop the penetration of an arrow; researchers are working on fortifying the product to stop bullets with an aim to keep it flexible and light-weight.
When hard particles are suspended in polyethylene glycol liquid and then applied to the outer surface of a vest, low strain allows for easy flexibility, but a sudden impact causes the liquid to rigidify and stop the fabric from moving from in front of projectiles, explains U.S. Army Research Laboratory mechanical engineer and project head Eric Wetzel. Relieving the stress caused by sudden impact allows the product to return to a liquid form.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Associated Press (04/28/04); Witte, Brian.