Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


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

Joseph Winters


Copyright © Institute of Physics

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Law enforcement/Anti-Counterfeiting/Security/Loss prevention

Scientists design a QKD-based quantum private query with no failure November 25th, 2015

Strange quantum phenomenon achieved at room temperature in semiconductor wafers November 21st, 2015

Nanotech Signs MOU with Leading European Manufacturer to Supply Optical Thin Film to the Banknote Market: Alliance Combines Technology and Production Capacity to Address High Volume Opportunities November 17th, 2015

Onion-like layers help this efficient new nanoparticle glow: A dye-coated surface is 1 of 3 specially crafted layers that help the particle emit light ideal for bioimaging November 11th, 2015


Iranian Scientists Present Graphic Model for Interaction of Anti-HIV Drug, HIV Virus November 20th, 2015

A simple, rapid test to help ensure safer meat November 19th, 2015

New Model Presented to Design, Produce Electronic Nanodevices November 6th, 2015

Are cars nanotube factories on wheels? Rice University, Paris colleagues: Study of lung cells suggests nanotubes are common pollutants October 20th, 2015


A new form of real gold, almost as light as air November 27th, 2015

Medical and aerospace electronics powered by Picosun ALD November 26th, 2015

MIT mathematicians identify limits to heat flow at the nanoscale: New formula identifies limits to nanoscale heat transfer, may help optimize devices that convert heat to electricity November 25th, 2015

Physicists explain the unusual behavior of strongly disordered superconductors: Using a theory they developed previously, the scientists have linked superconducting carrier density with the quantum properties of a substance November 25th, 2015

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

Car Brands
Buy website traffic