Scientists from a Polish firm have designed a liquid-embedded body armour. The protective gear hardens upon impact – it can thus stop bullets from piercing through the skin of the targeted individual.
Material used in existing body armour designs
The Polish firm aims at producing body armour systems. Their latest invention involves the incorporation of a liquid that hardens upon impact in materials used as protective suits. The liquid is known as Shear-Thickening Fluid (STF). STF hardens instantaneously upon impact at any given temperature. It can be used in clothing to provide protection from high-speed projectiles like bullets. Furthermore, it has the ability to disperse energy over a larger area. Ballistic tests have shown that the material is resistant to a variety of projectiles.
‘We needed to find, design a liquid that functions both with projectiles hitting at the velocity of 450 meters per second and higher.
We have succeeded,’ said Deputy Director for Research at the Moratex institute, Marcin Struszczyk.
Liquid form of the material
Solid form of the material caused by an impact
What is this liquid composed of? For now, it is a mystery. The exact ingredients are known only to the company, Moratex ,and its scientists at the Military Institute of Armament Technology in Warsaw.
How does the STF work?
The STF does not abide by the model of Newtonian liquids, like water; the model dictates that the force needed to move the fluid faster must increase in an exponential manner, and its resistance to flow changes with temperature. Rather, STF hardens upon impact at any temperature. It then acts as a barrier to projectiles.
‘If a protective vest is fitted to the body, then a four centimeter deep deflection may cause injury to the sternum, sternum fracture, myocardial infarction, lethal damage to the spleen,’ Struszczyk said.
‘Thanks to the properties of the liquid, thanks to the proper formation of the insert, we eliminate one hundred percent of this threat because we have reduced the deflection from four centimeters to one centimeter.’
Furthermore, the wide area of the STF that hardens when it is hit causes the great amount of energy that is generated to be dispersed away from the individual wearing the suit, thus protecting his internal organs further.
Inserting the materials that aided to incorporate the liquid into the clothing has been done in such a way that the inserts are lighter than the usual ballistic ones. They are also associated with a broader range of movement for the users.
‘The point is for them not to interfere, not change the way of movement, operation of such the product by the user, and at the same time increase their motor skills, increase effectiveness of their decision process and increase their possibilities during the mission at hand,’ Struszczyk said.
Light flexible sheets designed to place the liquid inside body armour
The liquid is described as having a higher safety level than the common Kevlar-based suits.