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The Military Science

Nanotube Body Armor Coming Soon 112

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the suiting-up dept.
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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  • but (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:12AM (#21139431)
    can you make better internets out of these tubes?
    • by DaCapn (927412)
      Sorry, using a series of nanotubes to build internets only results in smaller internets.
    • Re:but (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nullav (1053766) <{moc} {at} {liamg.valluN}> on Saturday October 27, 2007 @05:40PM (#21143035)
      Actually, according to TFA, networks can indeed be made using a series of tubes.

      But the new material could also find applications in the area of hi-tech "smart" clothing, bomb-proof refuse bins, flexible solar panels, and, eventually, as a replacement for copper wire in transmitting electrical power and signals.
      I could really see a use for such a resilient material in the more earthquake-prone areas, as opposed to fiber which would probably snap in a lot of situations.
      • 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).
        • Your buddy just needs to figure out how to compress a stream of matter and send it through the little wormholes in the quantum foam!
          • In advanced QM you learn that you can do anything as long as it is for a short enough time that it can't be measured. I'm a strong believer that if your theory allows an irational universe then your theory isn't the "final truth". While stuff like quantum foam can be useful to aid in calculations, I don't think we have enough evidence to prove that it actually exists. A lot of QM theorists subscribe to if it can exist then it does, funny how most of them also subscribe to the god doesn't exist theory. Hmm,
    • by Hamoohead (994058)
      Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of those?
  • So, i'm wearing this suit... it's broad daylight and i'm charging my phone and stuff from the solarpanel effect that the nanotube suit has. I see a bomb, take my suit off, wrap it around the bomb. Waahoo! I just saved the day and charged my phone at the same time!
    • by cumin (1141433)

      Screw multiple uses, if it saves me from dying when I get shot, I'm all for it. If it happens to be better than kevlar for that, and lighter, then heck yeah. I'm probably not going to get drafted, but if I were ever put into combat, then I know I'll be hoping they're passing this out.

      Multiple uses is great, but really, make it good for one thing only, stopping bullets and you've got a sale.

      • Re:multiple uses? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Entropius (188861) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @11:47AM (#21140349)
        Think the army is actually going to make 200k suits of this stuff?

        A better way to stop people from getting shot in wartime is to not be in stupid wars.
        • by Forge (2456)
          Stop picking on Bush.

          He had to invade Iraq to drive oil prices to a new record high. This while his family is in the oil business.

          That dose NOT look stupid to me. Callus and selfish perhaps but not stupid. Don't let his speech dysfunction fool you. For all we know that is a well rehearsed act to stop people from looking to carefully at his self serving "dumb" decisions.
        • by Ucklak (755284)
          Unfortunately, we're not in a war. No war has been declared. I believe it's a resolution.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by cumin (1141433)
          You distinguish "stupid wars," but somehow I'm not convinced that everyone will agree with you about which ones are stupid. If I'm going to get shot at, yeah, I want one of these and I don't care who thinks the war is stupid or whether it is technically a war or not. I care about not dying.
          • by Entropius (188861)
            The majority of Americans are in agreement about this one, and the overwhelming majority of the most educated Americans are in agreement.
          • by bhiestand (157373)
            Thanks, it's always nice to see that slashdot hasn't become entirely filled with idiots. This topic has nothing to do with any individual war or political problem the trolls/idiots are pissed off about. It is only about giving military and law enforcement a better way to delay dying, and I'm all for that. Anybody who has ever worn the current Class IV monstrosities knows exactly why we need something better and lighter.
            • by Entropius (188861)
              Carbon nanotubes are *expensive* to manufacture. If the resources spent outfitting the entire infantry with these were instead spent on preventing unnecessary wars, the military would have a better way of delaying dying. Hell, a better way to save the lives of infantrymen would be to take the money spent on nanotube armor and instead spend it on twice as many troops.

              The only people who really benefit from this sort of thing are the contractors who fiddle with it.

              If this stuff does become widespread the main
              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by bhiestand (157373)

                Carbon nanotubes are *expensive* to manufacture. If the resources spent outfitting the entire infantry with these were instead spent on preventing unnecessary wars, the military would have a better way of delaying dying.

                1) Boy armor isn't just for "the entire infantry"
                2) War is inevitable. It is the military's job to survive the war, defeat the enemy, and come home to their families/jobs/communities
                3) It's nice to have stuff that will save your life when war happens

                Hell, a better way to save the lives of infantrymen would be to take the money spent on nanotube armor and instead spend it on twice as many troops.

                Sure, that sounds like a great idea. While we're at it, let's just sell their current body armor so we can quadruple the number of troops. And maybe if we take away the rest of their equipment, we can have tens of millions of troops! That worked well for o

                • by Magada (741361)

                  Congratulations, you appear to have learned something about the history of military weapons and countermeasures.

                  Well, that history of weapons and countermeasures should tell you something... Yes, there are advantages to armor, but in the end what really counts is firepower and manpower is a good proxy for that, especially in these crappy lil' LICs the US Army seems so fond of fighting.

                  And maybe if we take away the rest of their equipment, we can have tens of millions of troops! That worked well for other countries in the past, right?

                  Russia was the big winner of WW2. Its massive low-tech army of conscripts prevailed over Germany's technologically advanced yet much smaller army. China prevailed over the US and its allies in the Korean War by similar means, forcing

        • by XL70E3 (574496) *
          Yes, i was thinking the same while reading that disconcerting study by the UN: http://www.unep.org/geo/geo4/report/GEO-4_Report_Full_en.pdf [unep.org] [http://www.unep.org/geo/geo4/media/index.asp] its about time we stop hitting on each other and find some solutions.. but hey, i know it's pretty idealistic and won't happen anytime soon.
        • by AP31R0N (723649)
          Or at least not be in wars under republican presidents. Since that is pretty much the rule that determines if they are stupid or not. It never seems to be determined by the cause itself, but about who is ordering it, and who didn't have the power to stop or start it themselves. Or maybe we should just go isolationist again, that worked out pretty well for us... until around 7 Dec 19something or other.
        • But Bruce Wayne will.
      • by emilper (826945)

        If it happens to be better than kevlar for that, and lighter, then heck yeah. I'm probably not going to get drafted, but if I were ever put into combat, then I know I'll be hoping they're passing this out.
        Armor must be heavy to be effective ... with a light armor the shock alone can kill you, while the inertia of a heavy armor would take the edge of that. Light armor is useful only in hand to hand combat using only very small knives.
  • Looks Familiar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:18AM (#21139465) Journal
    I know it's inevitable and I want our troops protected, but its ironic how much this looks like the garb worn by the enforcer types in dozens of dystopia movies. One key to waging war is to dehumanize the enemy in the eyes or your citizens and fighting force. It will be far easier for our adversaries to paint our troops as inhuman.
    • Re:Looks Familiar (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rastilin (752802) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:38AM (#21139577)
      It doesn't look any different from the armour already worn by SWAT teams. The only real difference between this and the normal soldier's armour, to me at least, is the face plate. You could remove that if you were ok with shrapnel in the eyes.
    • Re:Looks Familiar (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:42AM (#21139609)

      I know it's inevitable and I want our troops protected, but its ironic how much this looks like the garb worn by the enforcer types in dozens of dystopia movies.

      They're just fitting in with the modern trend. In the time I've lived here in Cambridge, the average police uniform has gone from the friendly, lots-of-white Police Service garb to the almost-all-black Police Force look of today. This has, of course, been happening in parallel with the systematic erosion of individual rights and increases in summary powers for the police, all with the backing of both our national government and, in some cases, our local councils. It would be sadly ironic if police officers became even more invulnerable^Wisolated due to an invention from our very own university.

      • by kestasjk (933987)
        Yes.. The designers of police uniforms incorporate reflections of "erosions of individual rights etc" into their uniforms.
      • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @12:31PM (#21140625)

        In the time I've lived here in Cambridge, the average police uniform has gone from the friendly, lots-of-white Police Service garb to the almost-all-black Police Force look of today.


        Yes, because an all-white uniform [geocities.com] is so much friendlier.

        Chris Mattern
      • by zenkonami (971656)
        I was thinking almost exactly that. At least in regards to law enforcement, I find the all black uniforms simply serve to make them look threatening. I understand that in an encounter they don't want to give any impression of vunerability or weakness, but these people are human (most of them, anyway) and their job is to serve the public. At this rate I'd rather see (visually speaking) the military show up in their respective typical colors than cops in all black. Psychologically, that's kind of scary.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          At least in regards to law enforcement, I find the all black uniforms simply serve to make them look threatening. I understand that in an encounter they don't want to give any impression of vunerability or weakness, but these people are human (most of them, anyway) and their job is to serve the public.

          The thing is, in this country we used to have policing by consent. That had some major advantages, not the least of which was that the police commanded the respect of the public they served, and members of the public could generally be relied upon to help them. Today, it's increasingly a them-and-us culture the closer to the top you get, thanks in no small part to an increasing number of silly laws pushed through by politicians but lacking popular support: everything from excessive stop-and-search to "roa

    • Re:Looks Familiar (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Loke the Dog (1054294) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:47AM (#21139633)
      True, and there's more to it. Inhuman beings are more frightening than humans, and if you feel inhuman, you will not feel a need to act like one.
    • Re:Looks Familiar (Score:4, Interesting)

      by vertinox (846076) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:56AM (#21139677)
      It will be far easier for our adversaries to paint our troops as inhuman.

      That may have benefits as well. Would you shoot something that doesn't look human and you aren't entirely sure they are going to die? If the enemy appeared to be immortal cyborgs that your (apparently) puny weapons had no affect on, would you not just be afraid of them and comply?
      • by Entropius (188861)
        No, I'd find some way to get rid of them that didn't involve small-arms fire.
      • Nope, that's when you call on SG1!
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by porpnorber (851345)

        But why is your goal to make people be afraid of you and "comply"? Isn't the goal to make people friendly towards you and want to have sex/do business/stop setting fire to your cattle?

        Dominating people does not make them peaceful or well-disposed towards you. This is an obvious truth that almost every individual learns from personal experience by the time they are seven. I simply do not understand why at the level of national policy, nobody seems to grasp it.

        • by jeko (179919)
          Our exact problem is that almost nobody learns this lesson by seven, or seventy, or if the scifi/fantasy authors are to be believed, seven hundred. The last guy who came out with this train of thought got crucified, and the majority of his followers are still saying, "yeah, but what He really meant was to do unto them after you kick their ass..."

          "Make people friendly to you?" Hell, we can't even get people as far as Will Smith's attitude in MIB -- "Don't start nuthin', won't be nuthin'."
      • by denzacar (181829)

        If the enemy appeared to be immortal cyborgs that your (apparently) puny weapons had no affect on, would you not just be afraid of them and comply?

        Actually, it would make me reach for a bat'leth (or an axe - they are generally easier to find). It always works for Lt. Worf.
        Or retreat into the jungle, smear mud over myself, and build a giant mousetrap with logs and some rope. Worked for both the Governator AND Ewoks.

        There is no such thing as "immortal". You are just not hitting it hard enough.

    • Re:Looks Familiar (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anomolous Cowturd (190524) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @10:20AM (#21139827)
      Your troops are enforcer types in a dystopian reality. While I'm always thrilled to see advances in materials science, and happy to see people that little bit safer, if your troops just stayed home we could use their armor for solar panels and I'd be even happier.
    • by owlnation (858981)
      You are quite right...

      But if you live in the People's Democratic Republic of (formerly Great) Britain you must surely already realize that you already live in a dystopia. The police in the streets here already wear body armor and are already watching everyone on big brother cameras.

      Add to that: no right to freedom of speech, no right to freedom of assembly, thought crime, Government controlled media, mind control by fear generation through creation of irrational abstract enemies like pedophiles, etc,
    • by Mousit (646085)
      My first thought on seeing the picture was "Wow, looks just like a Combine soldier". Which could be a joke you laughingly shrug off, but at the same time is rather disturbing. An inhuman occupying force. Think about it.
    • It will be far easier for our adversaries to paint our troops as inhuman.
      Right now, our adversaries paint us as Americans being lead by an idiot that we voted for. When they looked down the sight, the do not see something inhuman. They see an American. And at this moment, they HATE us.
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      its ironic how much this looks like the garb worn by the enforcer types in dozens of dystopia movies.
      Just form following function, surely?
  • Pointless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kamrom (609839) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:23AM (#21139493)
    Why develop new body armor, when our soldiers still can't get the stuff made several years ago?
    • Re:Pointless (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @10:14AM (#21139787) Homepage Journal
      For one thing, because it simply isn't true that we can't get it to them. We just can't supply them at the rate we ought to at the price we are willing to pay. It boils down to the fact that the number of lives saved isn't worth it to the US taxpayer, or at least the ones that vote.

      For another, just because it is "got to them" doesn't mean it stays got. Every time a ceramic armor plate takes a bullet, it ought to be replaced. Even just being knocked around can probably weaken the armor. Durability is the reason the flexible glued ceramic disk armor might not be the best choice for an environment like Iraq.

      For yet another, fabric based armor makes it possible to protect areas that you can't with ceramic armor: the hands, the head. There was a report on NRP about the unusual number of fatalities suffered by police this year. The bad guys have adjusted to the fact that the police wear body armor and take a head shot before the cop realizes he needs to draw his gun.

      Finally, production of fabric armor an probably be scaled more cheaply than ceramic plates. You start with a vat of organic goo, draw threads out of it, spin them into thread and weave them into garments. You can make as large a "plate" as you need by setting up long warp yarns and weaving a longer strip of cloth. Think of a set of drapes: you could produce armored drapes if you wanted to. By contrast with ceramic you have to fire each plate in an oven. To make a larger plate, you need a larger oven and presumably getting a uniform result is trickier. To ramp up the production line, you need more or larger ovens. To overcome these problems, you could make lots of small plates, but then joining them becomes a problem.

      If you could make fabric armor that was just as good a ceramic plate armor (doubtful, but imagine that you could), it is certain to be cheaper and faster to produce, provided you are making enough.
      • Re:Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jefu (53450) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @11:37AM (#21140287) Homepage Journal

        It boils down to the fact that the number of lives saved isn't worth it to the US taxpayer, or at least the ones that vote.

        Most taxpayers are already paying for the war and associated expenses. I suspect many would be not displeased to put money into actually saving troops rather than (to pick a couple of examples) paying mercenary armies who don't pay their own taxes, or paying corrupt contractors building the US embassy with (semi-)slave labor, or paying the CIA to run secret prisons where they can torture with impunity, or paying Haliburton so Cheney can make a profit.

        • by hey! (33014)
          If you put it that way, of course, virtually all US taxpayers would agree.

          However, I submit that until the voters aren't swayed one way or the other on an issue by how it is framed, they don't really care about that issue.

          There isn't a clear dividing line, of course, because the framing always matters a little. It is a matter of degree, but even so it is perfectly possible to detect clear disinterest or clear interest in many cases. Most voters, for example, truly care about their own taxation rate. It
      • by dkf (304284)

        To overcome these problems, you could make lots of small plates, but then joining them becomes a problem.
        It's called Scale Armour [wikipedia.org] and it's been invented before.
    • 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.

      • by wtansill (576643)
        Uhh -- we keep repeating this meme because, until informed by those such as yourself with more up-to-date information, we don't know that the meme is no longer operative. I was a small investor in DHB, a body armor company a while back, and last I heard, shortages were widespread.

        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.

        Would you care to elaborate on what the newer/better stuff is? For instance -- I've done som

  • Why its the brand new Hudzen-10, come to replace Kryten on a service contract..
    What do you mean, there is no Silicon Heaven? Where do all the Calculators go?
  • by wlad (1171323) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:32AM (#21139547)
    ...so that's where they dispose of used bombs?
    • by finnw (415539)
      I'm not quite sure what they mean but I doubt the nanotube fibre is supposed to contain a bomb blast. Perhaps it's a new casing material for a product like this one [aigis.co.uk].

      from here [sciencemuseum.org.uk]:

      Unlike normal litter bins that shatter into thousands of pieces of shrapnel during an explosion the outside cover of this bin will break away into three or four large pieces while the bin itself remains intact. It means that if hit by one of the pieces at the most any passer by would only suffer from is mild bruising.

      The "mild bruising" bit sounds a bit far fetched ("mild incineration" more likely?) but maybe a nanotube casing would stay in one piece which would be an improvement.

      • I think I they are referring to the container they use to carry a bomb to the bomb disposal van. If they've decided that it is safe to move the bomb, they will try and move it to a secure location and do a controlled detonation rather than risk peoples lives defusing it.

        A couple of unlucky guys have to carry the bomb from the site to the bomb truck, they would use one of these bins to contain the bomb while they do that. It may not be 100% effective but it's sure as hell better than just carrying the bomb
  • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Sadly, it is the bits behind the vest that are the problem for several British troops killed in places like Iraq each year because they hadn't been supplied with the right body armour or had been required to return it so other troops with greater perceived need could have it.

      I'm no fan of the war in Iraq or the politicians behind it, but if we're going to send our boys and girls into a dangerous situation like that, you'd think giving them the best equipment available would be the least we could do. Hopef

    • Why Solar Panels??? What does this have to do with generating power?
      Is it because the oil-crazy nuts would shoot at the solar panels???

      On a more serious note, a Gel nanotube would better absorb the shocks.
      • by tknn (675865)
        I imagine if it is backed with a dilatant fabric it might actually be relatively comfortable compared to modern body armour.
  • Sooo... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Fred_A (10934) <fred@NoSpaM.fredshome.org> on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:48AM (#21139637) Homepage
    Will it blend ?
  • by downix (84795)
    Listening to an NPR program on battlefield recovery, I got to thinking how the soldiers on the field could be given a better chance for a full recovery if they recieved medical care sooner. Well, they're already getting emergency treatment to stabilize them within 30 minutes. But if they got it sooner, well just imagine. So I got to thinking, what would any soldier have with them that could administer treatment incase of wound? Why, their armor. Let's take these nano-tubes for a moment, and "fill them"
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by MSZ (26307)
      Also don't forget remote-controlled injector of stimulant+painkiller+adrenaline, so that, at the press of the button, they would rise, dripping blood and shredded guts, and attack the enemy without mercy. Then we'll only need a fluffy white cat to be delivered to the commander of such Legions of Doom.

      Now seriously, some of what you propose could probably be done. I doubt that it would be really efficient, as these tubes aren't big enough to hold a significant amount of whatever substance inside.
      • by downix (84795)
        individually, you'd be right. But considering the sheer amount of tubes we're talking about, would be more than possible.
        • sure, but don't forget the weight.
          liquids are awfully heavy and modern soldiers already need to lift so much equipment that their body weight doubles.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Chris Mattern (191822)
      You'll need 100 Minerals and 100 Vespene to reserach the Stim Pack upgrade.

      Chris Mattern
      • Of course they didn't really come into their own until brood war when someone realised medics who could deal with the damage caused by the stimpacks were a good idea.
    • by zyxwvutsr (542520)

      Let's take these nano-tubes for a moment, and "fill them" with advanced hole and wound sealant technology? Why, the moment a soldier was shot, their wound would be patched, as the breaking of the tubes themselves would release the treatment

      Well, not really. The body armor would stop the bullet and there would be no puncture wound: that's the whole point. Also, most of the wounds in Iraq are from IEDs, and involve wounds to extermities not covered by body armor (arms, legs, neck, etc.)

    • Marines and Navy corpsmen already carry packets of a material called QuickClot - it's a rapid coagulant that will seal just about any bleeding injury within a few seconds. There have been cases where guys were shot through the neck, treated themselves (!) with this stuff and lived. Between that and the self-sealing, self-applicable dressing for sucking chest wounds, your average G.I. Joe or Jane can survive just about any wound to the point of first care. The problem is definitive treatment - putting the
    • Major fracture detected. Morphine administered. Warning: Vital signs are critical. Seek medical attention.
  • 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]
  • Health Concerns (Score:3, Interesting)

    by failedlogic (627314) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @10:04AM (#21139725)
    Might there not be a health concern/issues with nanotube or nano-anything (yes that was technical!), being used? Their structures are so small our immune systems can't block it and it might adhere to cell walls more than we
    'd ever want to. Wearing such body armor, which would stop speeding bullets, IEDs, mines, rockets from injuring soldiers might not be a good idea. The injury from the enemy fire might not be the only concern.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, I mean nano carbon tubes is FAR more dangerus then graphite(bike oil) I mean it's got the word nano in it, and we all know that the word nano totaly went beserk and killed 50 people last year.

      On a serius note. Carbon Nano tubes don't have the same "could be dangerus" stamp as nanosized manmade particles, since they aren't nanosized. They may have a nanometer diameter, but they can be as long as several centimeters.
      And again the danger of nanosized particles isn't that they are nanosized, it's simply th
  • 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.
  • Buckyballs have a tendancy to shred your lungs. If a "bullet proof" vest made of this stuff took a hit and saved a person's life, the resulting expulsion of material from the vest might create a toxic cloud which would just as readily kill the wearer (and anybody else nearby).

    --
    This space for rent
    • SWNT can be toxic, in fact they can be very hazardous. Now I'm not completely sure about single walled, but I know multi walled CNTs, when they are functionalized as to by hydrophilic, can have their the toxicity drop to what the researchers saw to be safe levels. I'd find links but I don't have time.
  • I Call Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheThirdRider (956714) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @11:37AM (#21140285)
    Or at least partial BS. I work at a nanotube R&D lab and one of the things we're working on (which I am personally involved with) is making carbon nanotube thread. I've read over and discussed the very paper that is mentioned in the article; also I've looked at what the University of Texas at Dallas is doing. Pulling SWCNTs (single walled carbon nanotubes) from a furnace does not create the same level strength due to the tight wrapping of CNTs as using van der Waals forces present in aligned MWCNTs (multi walled carbon nanotubes) when pulling thread from an aligned forest of nanotubes. While the individual tubes are stringer than almost anything, they do not adhere well to each other and tend to slide apart when in a rope. C They may have some fibers that are stronger than Kevlar, I've made some myself infact. But it was only that strong in comparison when measuring Young's modulus because it was so small as to be neutrally buoyant in air and nearly invisible to the human eye. And, unfortunately, so far that strength doesn't scale. So, yes they probably have made super fibers, but I highly doubt they are usable for the applications they are claiming.
  • stop nanotube bullets?
  • how long before they come to Counter-Strike??
  • This is blatant copy infringement from Half Life 2. That suit is a replica of the Combine Metrocops. http://www.hlfallout.net/images/content/enemies/full/metrocop_full.jpg [hlfallout.net]
  • made of nanotubes that is some cases exceeds the performance of Kevlar.

    Nothing personal, but if I'd have to wear it, I'd want it to exceed the performace of Kevlar in ALL CASES! - *Cough...*

  • by Xfacter (1075973)
    Why hasn't this been tagged 'crysis' yet?
  • "stronger than kevlar in some instances should not be necessarily be taken as a great leap forward.

    For a while now there have been products that significantly out perform kevlar strength wise. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7038702.stm

    In fact this is not even the first time that such stuf has been discused on slashdot http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/23/1817216

    There are also many common materials that outperform kevlar in some applications, including technora, which is commonly used in
  • Do you guys think that this kind of protection could one day be used to build bikers protecting garments?
  • ...The armor is a series of tubes.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.

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