Custard-Like Liquid Armor Solidifies Instantly

Four years ago, we wrote that the US Army was developing body armor that is normally a liquid, but turns into a solid when it's hit. Britain's military researchers have come up with something similar, but now there's clear evidence that it can withstand the impact of a bullet:

The BAE scientists describe it as "bullet-proof custard".

"It's very similar to custard in the sense that the molecules lock together when it's struck," explained Stewart Penny, business development manager in charge of materials development at the company.[...]

"In standard bullet-proof vests, we use thick, heavy, layered plates of Kevlar that restrict movement and contribute to fatigue," said Mr Penny.

In the tests, scientists used a large gas gun to fire ball bearing-shaped metal bullets at over 300 metres per second into two test materials - 31 layers of untreated kevlar and 10 layers of kevlar combined with the shear-thickening liquid.

"The Kevlar with the liquid works much faster and the impact isn't anything like as deep," he explained.

Link via DVICE | Photo by Flickr user Shanti, shanti used under Creative Commons license

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Someone better tell the Mythbusters:

A mixture of cornstarch and water is bulletproof.


Adam reasoned that this mixture’s properties as a non-Newtonian liquid might allow it to stop a bullet. However, 6 thin bags full of the liquid failed to stop the bullet.
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