Completely Bulletproof? Ruby S. AmyeenStoller Middle SchoolThe total amount of Americans killed in all U.S wars is more than 1.
1 million! According to NOVA (2013), even when wearing kevlar bulletproof vests, getting shot still causes a bruise. Bulletproof vests also aren’t stab proof. How can we make armor more effective while being aware of the material and design patterns of the armor? Let’s dig deeper into the world of machinery.
The type of material is very important when producing armor. Carbon/Carbon Composite is very strong carbon fibers with a very strong carbon matrix. There are distinct types of composite. (Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para.
7). Based on how the fibers go in correlation to the matrix can result in different properties. Carbon/Carbon Composite can resist a lot of tension.
(Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para. 7). Carbon/Carbon Composite can absorb a lot of force, this shows an example of toughness. This material could be useful for aerospace things in particular. (Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para. 7) Carbon/Carbon Composite is a strong material but it is more useful for aerospace products. Is there a material that can be used for bulletproof vest?Graphene can be used to make bulletproof vests.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are able to print graphene. Graphene conducts electricity efficiently and is nearly transparent. Graphene is 5% the density of steel.
(Lucas Mearian, 2017, para. 1, 3, 7). Graphene is 200x the strength of steel and a fraction of the weight. Graphene costs $100 per gram. (The University of Manchester, n.d, para.
3). Graphene is assembled out of carbon atoms and is one atom thick. Graphene atoms are arranged chicken wire pattern. (Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para. 3). Graphene is one of the many materials that can be used to produce armor.
But there’s one worry, graphene is very expensive. That’s the reason why I must find an alternative for graphene.One material that can be used as an alternative for graphene is silicon carbide. Silicon carbide is found in meteorites in small numbers. But manufactures have been able to produce it commercially.
Silicon carbide is as hard as diamond and tougher than diamond. (Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para. 6).
This material is used in sandpaper. The Chobham armor used for battle tanks, base is made out of silicon carbide. (Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para. 8). A example of the strength of this armor would be in Operation Desert Storm when not a single British Challenger tank was demolished. (Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para.
6). The only problem with this material is that it isn’t very flexible. What material is flexible, lightweight and tough?One material that can be used as an alternative for silicon carbide is spectra fiber. Polyethylene molecules produced into fibers is spectra fiber. Polyethylene molecules are very long and stretch out alongside each other, they’re bonded very tightly. (Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para.
5). Spectra fiber is lightweight. Spectra fiber is a tough thread that can stand a lot of tension. (Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para. 5). Spectra fiber is 5 times stronger than steel considering the weight to weight ratio. This material is used for bulletproof vests & high tech sports gear. (Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para.
5). Spectra fiber is a lightweight, strong material for armor.Materials can have a lot of impact on armor but patterns can too. Many animals in the world defend themselves with there own natural armor and many include patterns. Pangolins are flexible creatures that can roll up into a ball when a predator is attacking.
Pangolins have an overlapping hexagonal pattern around a central scale. This ensures safety, the pangolin is fully covered when moving. (Cordelia Sealy, 2016, para. 1, 6). The hexagonal pattern allows the scales to slide over one another, this makes the armor more flexible, it also improves the fracture toughness. (Cordelia Sealy, 2016, para. 4, 6). This arrangement also makes the pangolin’s armor very hard to crack.
(Cordelia Sealy, 2016, para. 5). Animals have incredible abilities that can be incorporated into things people use in our modern world to make things better. Another animal that is very incredible is the spider. Particularly their silk. Spider silk is lightweight, tough, very stretchy and flexible.
(Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para. 6). Spider silk can resist a lot of pull and has high tensile strength. Particularly Darwin’s bark spider of Madagascar. (Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para.
6). Darwin’s bark spider of Madagascar builds the largest webs known and produces silk 2 times stronger than other spiders. It also has the highest tensile strength and toughness ever (Melissa Salpietra, 2010, para.
6). Spiders are incredible but their silk is extremely hard to produce.Bulletproof armor isn’t always effective. Materials can have a massive impact on armor. Graphene is a lightweight, strong and flexible material, but it’s expensive.
Spectra fiber and Carbon/Carbon Composite is also lightweight, strong but not as strong as graphene and flexible. Furthermore, Carbon/Carbon Composite is in particular used for aerospace technologies. Animals have effective natural armor. The different design patterns have a substantial effect on the toughness of the armor. This research can be used to come up with more effective armor.
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