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The Military Science

Nanotube Body Armor Coming Soon 112 112

s31523 writes "Military and law enforcement agencies are constantly seeking better protection in the line of fire, but current armor is heavy and bulky. The University of Cambridge has developed a new type of carbon fiber made up of nanotubes that is some cases exceeds the performance of Kevlar. The new material has other potential uses as well, from bomb disposal bins to flexible solar panels."
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Nanotube Body Armor Coming Soon

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  • Exposed bits.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by bigattichouse (527527) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:42AM (#21139603) Homepage
    It isn't the bits behind the vest that are the problem anymore (mostly). Its the arms legs and brain that are getting all the damage.
  • Wearing enough (Score:5, Informative)

    by Strange Ranger (454494) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @10:03AM (#21139719)
    No matter the material, body armor only works when you wear enough of it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/07/politics/07armor.html [nytimes.com]

    Almost from the beginning, some soldiers asked for additional protection to stop bullets from slicing through their sides. In the fall of 2003, when troops began hanging their crotch protectors under their arms, the Army's Rapid Equipping Force shipped several hundred plates to protect their sides and shoulders. Individual soldiers and units continued to buy their own sets.

    And a year and a half later (after above article):
    http://www.bakesalesforbodyarmor.org/ [bakesalesf...yarmor.org]
  • by muttoj (572791) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @10:21AM (#21139835)

    nano tubes will in some cases exceed the performance of Kevlar.
    New existing materials as Dyneema and Taeki5 already exceed the performance of kevlar by a long shot.
  • by Soulfader (527299) <sig.sigspace@net> on Saturday October 27, 2007 @01:39PM (#21141075) Journal
    Everyone has at least an Interceptor vest. No American service member goes overseas without one. I'm in the National Guard, and even us bastard red-headed stepchildren of the war effort get full IBAs with the side plates and shoulder shrapnel protection--more armor than most of us want or need.

    (More on the IBA [globalsecurity.org].)

    Yes, there are newer and better things out there. And many troops are wearing them already--or were when I was in Afghanistan last year. Presumably more have them now. Could they get the newer and better stuff to the troops faster? Perhaps. Look into it. Make a valid argument. But stop trotting out the old "troops can't get any armor" BS.

  • Re:but (Score:4, Informative)

    by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:55PM (#21144577)
    One of my fellow students in university (I have a physics degree, he had double major physics, applied math, followed with MSc (Physics), PhD Math, a fairly bright guy ;) ), anyways, his PhD thesis was solving electron quantum states in carbon nano-tubes. Properties he mentioned were, they are superconducting in one direction, and have total internal reflection (what causes fiber optics to be useful). So yes they will make a better internet. They also could make better electronics in general (no resistance = electrons moving as fast as they possibly can with the applied voltage).

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.