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
Leti and Partners in PIEZOMAT Project Target New Fingerprint Technology for Highly Reliable Security and ID Applications: Ultra-high Resolution Sensing Uses Vertical Piezoelectric Nanowire Matrices to Reconstruct the Smallest Features of Human Fingerprints February 11th, 2014
Dongbu HiTek Supplies CCTV Image Sensors to Brigates: Korean specialty foundry supplies CCTV sensor chips to Chinese fabless company; D1 resolution CMOS image sensor chips now shipping January 15th, 2014
Edward Snowden named 2013 Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award Winner December 23rd, 2013
Timing is everything in new nanotechnology for medicine, security and research December 16th, 2013
Coupled carbon and peptide nanotubes achieved for the first time: twins nanotubes March 1st, 2014
Improvement in polymers for aviation February 26th, 2014
Scientists Use Nanotubes to Boost Fracture Toughness of Zirconia-Based Ceramic February 23rd, 2014
Caps not the culprit in nanotube chirality: Rice University study narrows the possibilities for gaining control of nanotube type February 17th, 2014
Squeezing light into metals: University of Utah engineers control conductivity with inkjet printer March 7th, 2014
Up-Converted Radio: The way to treat radio waves in a noisy environment is to turn them into visible light March 7th, 2014
New Data Model Boosts Space Science March 6th, 2014
Carbodeon NanoDiamonds PTFE Coating doubles surface durability and reduces friction by up to 66 percent: New surface coating enables cost-effective CO2 and fuel reductions in machinery March 6th, 2014