Archive for category Carbon Nanotubes in Bullet Proof Vest
To explain the carbon nanotubes are such an ideal material for bullet proof vests, scientists Kausala Mylvaganam and L. C. Zhang practiced two related experiments in 2006 and 2007.
Energy absorption capacity of carbon nanotubes under ballistic impact: the impact of a bullet of nanotubes on different radii in two extreme cases, a nanotube with one end fixed and a nanotube with bot ends fixed.
The result was (1) on one end fixed nanotube, the energy absorption efficiency decreases when the relative heights of the bullet strikes increased, (2) on both ends fixed, like the picture above, the energy absorption efficiency reaches the minimum when the bullet strikes around a height of 0.5.
From this experiment, the scientists learned that both ends fixed nanotubes are more efficient than the one with one end fixed nanotubes.
Ballistic resistance capacity of carbon nanotubes: ballistic impact and bouncing back process on carbon nanotubes.
The result was (1) nanotubes with large radii endure higher bullet speeds, (2) the ballistic resistance is the highest when the bullet hits the center of the carbon nanotube, (3) the ballistic resistance of nanotubes will remain the same even when bullets strike at the same spot as long as there is a small interval between bullet strikes.
These two experiments proved how carbon nanotubes will be highly efficient in the future military service due to its flexibility and high energy absorbability.
“The carbon nanotube fiber is five times higher for spider silk than for the same mass of steel wire, which has inspired efforts to produce spider silk commercially. ” The carbon nanotube composite fibers are tougher than any other fibers introduced so far.
According to Nature, this kind of fiber is made by single walled nanotubes. The single walled nanotubes (SWNTs) need to put into a rotating bath of aqueous polyvinyl alcohol to produce nanotube gel fibre and this will, later, turn into 100-m lengths of solid nanotube composite fiber. (Super-tough carbon-nanotube fibres)
This fibers are promising electronic textile applications that are easy to weave and sew.
Various types of materials have been used as body armor to protect humans from injury in combats. During the World War II, the United States designed body protect equipment for infantrymen; however, equipment itself was too heavy. After those years, it has been developed throughout different wars. Current bullet proof vest was designed in late 1980s. It is made with layers of wiry materials which absorb the energy of the bullet and scatter it throughout the layers.
Three main materials, Kevlar, Twaron, and Dyneema, are used for protective gear. These three materials are very useful and interesting; however, they give disadvantages to the wearer of the vest because the vest is still forced to absorb the entire energy from the bullet, possibly causing injury to the wearer.
Then how the carbon nanotubes bullet proof vest can help soldiers?As a bullet proof vest material, carbon nanotubes are ideal due to their high elasticity and strength. Even though we do not have any experiences of using the vest in military, yet, it is easily predicable to provide soldiers comforts and bigger boundary of movements.
The research for discovering the way to put the carbon nanotubes into fiber was difficult so why would we stop at the military purpose? There are more materials other than bullet proof vest for military purpose; carbon nanotubes can be used for fuel-efficient cars and air crafts, firefighters suits, and even some people wear bullet proof materials as fashion.
The two basic function of firefighting suits are flame and heat barrier properties and comfort to alleviate fatigue and heatstroke. Until now, it has been difficult to combine both at a high level but carbon nanotube fabric has these functions. In addition, the fabric lowers the weight of the heat-barrier layer compare to conventional linings capable of equivalent heat resistance.
Another interesting application is bullet proof fashion. It is totally a different thing from previous ones. Like the clothes you wear everyday, you can customize bullet proof t-shirts, jackets, suits, and more. When people think about bullet proof products, it seems more like heavy and hard but the carbon nanotube fabric makes the products flexible enough to wear normally. This includes the products from Miguel Caballero in Bogota, Columbia. (Related Video)