Home > Press > Using nanotech to make Robocops
Bulletproof jackets do not turn security guards, police officers and armed forces into Robocops, repelling the force of bullets in their stride. New research in carbon nanotechnology however could give those in the line of fire materials which can bounce bullets without a trace of damage.
Using nanotech to make Robocops
UK | Posted on October 30th, 2007
A research paper published in the Institute of Physics' Nanotechnology details how engineers from the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology at the University of Sydney have found a way to use the elasticity of carbon nanotubes to not only stop bullets penetrating material but actually rebound their force.
Most anti-ballistic materials, like bullet-proof jackets and explosion-proof blankets, are currently made of multiple layers of Kevlar, Twaron or Dyneema fibres which stop bullets from penetrating by spreading the bullet's force. Targets can still be left suffering blunt force trauma - perhaps severe bruising or, worse, damage to critical organs.
The elasticity of carbon nanotubes means that blunt force trauma may be avoided and that's why the engineers in Sydney have undertaken experiments to find the optimum point of elasticity for the most effective bullet-bouncing gear.
Prof Liangchi Zhang and Dr Kausala Mylvaganam from the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology in Sydney, said, "By investigating the force-repelling properties of carbon nanotubes and concluding on an optimum design, we may produce far more effective bulletproof materials.
"The dynamic properties of the materials we have found means that a bullet can be repelled with minimum or no damage to the wearer of a bullet proof vest."
Working at the scale of a nanometre (one billionth of a metre), condensed matter physicists engineer structures that manipulate individual atomic and molecular interactions. Working at this microscopic scale allows engineers to design fundamentally different and useful materials.
One of these materials is nanotubes, a one-atom thick sheet of graphite, rolled into a cylinder that is held together by a very strong chemical bond called orbital hybridisation.
Nanotubes bind together into a strong ‘rope' because of the Van der Waals force they share. Van der Waals is the weak attraction that molecules have for one another when they are brought close together, used, for example, by geckos when they stick to a ceiling.
About Institute of Physics
The Institute of Physics is a scientific membership organisation devoted to increasing the understanding and application of physics. It has an extensive worldwide membership (currently over 34,000) and is a leading communicator of physics with all audiences from specialists through government to the general public. Its publishing company, IOP Publishing, is a world leader in scientific publishing and the electronic dissemination of physics.
For more information, please click here
Copyright © Institute of Physics
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Law enforcement/Anti-Counterfeiting/Security/Loss prevention
Fraud-proof credit card possible because of quantum physics December 16th, 2014
Longhorn beetle inspires ink to fight counterfeiting November 5th, 2014
Better bomb-sniffing technology: University of Utah engineers develop material for better detectors November 4th, 2014
Superconducting circuits, simplified: New circuit design could unlock the power of experimental superconducting computer chips October 18th, 2014
A sponge-like molecular cage for purification of fullerenes December 15th, 2014
'Trojan horse' proteins used to target hard-to-reach cancers: Scientists at Brunel University London have found a way of targeting hard-to-reach cancers and degenerative diseases using nanoparticles, but without causing the damaging side effects the treatment normally brings December 11th, 2014
Detecting gases wirelessly and cheaply: New sensor can transmit information on hazardous chemicals or food spoilage to a smartphone December 8th, 2014
Green meets nano: Scientists at TU Darmstadt create multifunctional nanotubes using nontoxic materials December 3rd, 2014
Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity: Collaboration with Lund University uses modified UO spectroscopy equipment to study 'maze' of connections in photoactive quantum dots December 19th, 2014
Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough December 19th, 2014
Aculon Hires New Business Development Director December 19th, 2014
Iranian Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Increase Power, Energy of Supercapacitors December 18th, 2014