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September 21st, 2007
Nanotechnology has numerous military applications. The most obvious are in materials science. Carbon nanotubes and diamond films and fibers have higher strength-to-weight ratios than steel, which allows for lighter and stronger armor and parts for vehicles, equipment, and aircraft. Such upgraded military Humvees would better protect soldiers from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and small-arms fire.
In another application, adding nickel nanostrands (ropes of material no wider than a few molecules), which can conduct electricity, could make aircraft more resistant to lightning strikes. The nickel strands also have magnetic properties that may prove useful in filters and energy storage devices.
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