I think anyone that has dropped a heavy object into water knows that liquid slows and softens the impact. However, you wouldn’t think liquid would be a viable option for body armor for soldiers and police. However, according to BAE Systems, some liquids are proving to be very effective body armor. The company has a new type of body armor that uses liquid and is much thinner than conventional body armor.
Traditional body armor is made out of multiple layers of Kevlar with additional metal or ceramic plates for more protection. The problem is that this very thick body armor can weigh as much as 25 pounds adding to load a soldier has to carry in a hot climate leading to earlier fatigue. BAE has developed a new type of body armor that uses what it calls Shear Thickening Liquid that has special particles that are suspended inside the liquid.
The video clip below first shows 9mm bullets being fired into 10 layers of Kevlar combined with liquid armor, then the impact on 31 layers of Kevlar alone.
When a projectile like a bullet hits the liquid, the particles lock together and spread the impact of a bullet over a larger area. That means that body armor using the special liquid can be made thinner and lighter, yet more effectively spread an impact across the surface offering greater protection to the wearer. BAE believes that the new technology could reduce the overall thickness and weight of armor by as much as 45 percent, while increasing freedom of movement.
[via Fox News]