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
NanoInk, Inc. Assets To Be Sold May 18th, 2013
Graphene’s high-speed seesaw April 30th, 2013
American Chemical Society podcast: From ancient Egypt — new technologies April 23rd, 2013
Nanotech Security Corp. Appoints Frenny Bawa as Chief Commercial Officer: Bawa to drive international product and service marketing for Nanotech and KolourOptiks© April 18th, 2013
UC Riverside scientists discovering new uses for tiny carbon nanotubes: Adding ionic liquid to nanotube films could build smaller gadgets, and create more cost effective 'Smart Windows' that darken in bright sun May 15th, 2013
Development know-how is made available to collaboration partners: Bayer MaterialScience brings nano projects to a close May 8th, 2013
Next-generation transistor outperforms other carbon-based designs May 7th, 2013
Ubiquitous engineered nanomaterials cause lung inflammation, study finds: Substances are used in everything from paint to sporting equipment May 6th, 2013
Whirlpools on the Nanoscale Could Multiply Magnetic Memory: At the Advanced Light Source, Berkeley Lab scientists join an international team to control spin orientation in magnetic nanodisks May 22nd, 2013
Bacterial spare parts filter antibiotic residue from groundwater May 22nd, 2013
UofL scientists uncover how grapefruits provide a secret weapon in medical drug delivery May 22nd, 2013
Atomic-Scale Investigations Solve Key Puzzle of LED Efficiency: MIT and Brookhaven Lab scientists use electron microscopy imaging techniques to settle a solid-state controversy and raise new experimental possibilities May 22nd, 2013