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The Military Science Technology Hardware

Scientists Turn T-Shirts Into Body Armor 213

separsons writes "Scientists at the University of South Carolina recently transformed ordinary T-shirts into bulletproof armor. By splicing cotton with boron, the third hardest material on the planet, scientists created a shirt that was super elastic but also strong enough to deflect bullets. Xiaodong Li, lead researcher on the project, says the same tech may eventually be used to create lightweight, fuel-efficient cars and aircrafts."
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Scientists Turn T-Shirts Into Body Armor

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  • How elastic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @09:03PM (#31803682) Journal

    It isn't going to help much if the bullet has enough force to make the t-shirt penetrate you. If we're talking a 2-inch stretch, then it'll make things less messy, but no less lethal.

  • Re:How elastic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by magarity ( 164372 ) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @09:13PM (#31803766)

    That's exactly why bulletproof vests have metal plates in them; to help spread the energy. And ribs still get broken. That's why the hope is to make lightweight vehicles, not better bulletproof-wear.

  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @10:31PM (#31804234) Homepage Journal

    If it stops a 9mm shell, it'll stop the little barbed prongs that a taser shoots. But they might catch in the clothing anyway, so you might still get shocked. Unless this stuff is conductive enough to short it out, or insulating enough to protect you.

    No, it doesn't work that way. A "bulletproof" vest is relatively easy to get through with a sharp blade - most bullet resistant materials will use lots of strong fibres to tangle the bullet up in on it's way through, whereas a sharp knife (or a pointed barb that's not spinning) will penetrate relatively easily.

    Ok, but in the future, just say "The slow blade penetrates the shield."

  • Re:How elastic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <> on Saturday April 10, 2010 @10:52PM (#31804372) Homepage Journal

        Nah, it would only increase the use of force. "The tazer didn't work, so we shot him in the head."

        Bullet proof vests are only good if the bullet his your chest. It doesn't help in other areas.

        In reality, "bullet proof" materials are only good at spreading the energy out. They're worthless against more focused forces. It may stop a 9mm (blunt tip), but it won't stop a .223 (sharp tip), and probably won't do much against the electrodes of a tazer, or a knife. That's why they make rifle plating to go into kevlar vests. They're heavy, but they'll help protect against more serious rounds. With serious rounds (like a .50 BMG), you can't carry enough armor to help you, and even if you did, it can only displace the energy so far. If it was able to prevent the round from piercing the armor, you'd simply be crushed by the force.

        Best advice for not getting killed by bullets? Don't get yourself on the wrong end of a firearm. I've managed to be safe wearing regular t-shirts as protection for over 30 years, because I've never put myself in the way of a weapon. :)

  • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @04:26AM (#31805948) Journal

    Sounds like the lame arse puny D&D as opposed to the uber AD&D

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.