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
UT Dallas engineers twist nanofibers to create structures tougher than bulletproof vests March 27th, 2015
Pens filled with high-tech inks for do-it-yourself sensors March 3rd, 2015
Novel solid-state nanomaterial platform enables terahertz photonics February 17th, 2015
Waterloo invention advances quantum computing research: New device, which will be used in labs around the world to develop quantum technologies, produces fragile entangled photons in a more efficient way February 16th, 2015
From tobacco to cyberwood March 31st, 2015
Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance: Scientists at Japan's Kyushu University say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications March 30th, 2015
Carbon nanotube fibers make superior links to brain: Rice University invention provides two-way communication with neurons March 25th, 2015
Iranian Scientists Eliminate Expensive Materials from Diabetes Diagnosis Sensors March 25th, 2015
Rutgers, NIST physicists report technology with potential for sub-micron optical switches March 31st, 2015
Prototype 'nanoneedles' generate new blood vessels in mice: Scientists have developed tiny 'nanoneedles' that have successfully prompted parts of the body to generate new blood vessels, in a trial in mice March 31st, 2015
Super sensitive measurement of magnetic fields March 31st, 2015
Nanomedicine pioneer Mauro Ferrari at ETH Zurich March 31st, 2015