The Royal Society of Chemistry reports that U.S. researchers Edwin Thomas and Jae-Hwang Lee have been testing the strength of graphene mesh in one role it's probably destined to appear in down the road: as ballistic shielding material. From the article: We cannot use conventional techniques such as a gun barrel or gunpowder [on this scale],’ explains Lee. ‘Instead we used a laser to accelerate a microscale silica bullet [at the multilayer graphene target].’ The bullet was propelled into stacked graphene sheets at supersonic speeds of up to 2000mph by the gases produced by laser pulses rapidly evaporating a gold film. The team calculated the energy difference of the bullet before and after to determine the energy absorbed. Neil Bourne, director of the National Centre for Matter under Extreme Conditions in the UK, who was not involved in the research, described the technique as ‘very exciting’. ‘They have taken a standard laboratory ballistics configuration and demonstrated its utility on microscopic scales,’ he says. Graphene was able to absorb up to 0.92MJ/kg of ballistic energy in the test, with cracks forming around the impact zone. By comparison, steel targets only absorbed up to 0.08MJ/kg at the same speed.