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Carbon nanotubes could make t-shirts bullet proof
Nanowerk ^ | 11/22/06 | Michael Berger

Posted on 11/23/2006 12:05:52 PM PST by LibWhacker

(Nanowerk Spotlight) Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have great potential applications in making ballistic-resistance materials. The remarkable properties of CNTs makes them an ideal candidate for reinforcing polymers and other materials, and could lead to applications such as bullet-proof vests as light as a T-shirt, shields, and explosion-proof blankets. For these applications, thinner, lighter, and flexible materials with superior dynamic mechanical properties are required. A new study by researchers in Australia explores the energy absorption capacity of a single-walled carbon nanotube under a ballistic impact. The result offers a useful guideline for using CNTs as a reinforcing phase of materials to make devices to prevent from ballistic penetration or high speed impact.

Professor Liangchi Zhang from the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Sydney explained the new research to Nanowerk: " Especially in making bullet-proof vests, shields, and explosion proof blankets, the best protective material will have a high level of elastic storage energy that will cause the projectile to bounce off or be deflected, i.e., the objective is to reduce the effects of 'blunt trauma' on the wearer after being struck by a bullet. We therefore tried to understand the impact behavior of CNTs."

Zhang published his recent findings, titled "Energy absorption capacity of carbon nanotubes under ballistic impact", in the September 18, 2006 issue of Applied Physics Letters.

Zhang's study analyzes the impact of a bullet on nanotubes of different radii in two extreme cases. For a nanotube with one end fixed, the maximum nanotube enduring bullet speed increases and the energy absorption efficiency decreases with the increase in relative heights at which the bullet strikes; these values are independent of the nanotube radii when the bullet hits at a particular relative height. For a nanotube with both ends fixed, the energy absorption efficiency reaches minimum when the bullet strikes around a relative height of 0.5.


Bullet strikes the nanotube at a relative height of 0.31
(a) with both ends fixed and (b) with one end fixed.

"Specifically, we investigated the relationship between the nanotube radius, the relative position at which the bullet strikes, the bullet speed, and the energy absorbed by the nanotube for a particular bullet size and shape" says Zhang.

A piece of diamond having 1903 atoms was used as a bullet with its speed varying from 100 to 1500 m/s. The bullet dimension was selected such that the width is larger than the width of the biggest nanotube after flattening. The bullet was released from a target about 15 Â from the center axis of the nanotube and moved at a constant speed in the horizontal direction i.e., perpendicular to the nanotube axis, as shown in the graphic above. The nanotube performance was examined for bullet released with various speeds at various positions using the classical molecular dynamics method.

In his experiments, Zhang found that, for a nanotube with one end fixed, the CNT could be resilient to projectile traveling at speeds of 200–1400 m/s (for comparison, the initial velocity of modern rifle bullets is somewhere between 180 and 1500 m/s, depending on gun and bullet type. For a typical over-the-counter gun the speed is below 1000 m/s); the nanotube enduring projectile speed increases whereas the absorption efficiency decreases with the increase in relative height ρ. For a nanotube with both ends fixed, the absorption energy reaches maximum whereas the absorption efficiency reaches minimum when the bullet strikes the nanotube in the middle.

Zhang is excited by the great potential offered by CNTs in making ballistic-resistance materials and his research in this area is ongoing: "We'll continue to try to understand the impact behavior of CNTs under more complicated loading conditions."


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Technical
KEYWORDS: banglist; bulletproof; carbon; nanotubes; technology; tshirts

1 posted on 11/23/2006 12:05:52 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

This would be totally unnecessary if we had safer bullets.

I'm Jocelyn Elders and I approved this message.


2 posted on 11/23/2006 12:12:16 PM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Public Employees: Honor Your Oaths! Defend the Constitution from Enemies--Foreign and Domestic!)
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To: LibWhacker

Bulletproof underwear, that's the future.


3 posted on 11/23/2006 12:12:58 PM PST by 353FMG (I never met a liberal I didn't dislike.)
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To: LibWhacker

These type inventions concern me because of their potential to make the 2nd amendment obsolete. Just wait and see what happens when the politicaians think they can screw with the public with no consequences.


4 posted on 11/23/2006 12:15:19 PM PST by Ajnin (I)
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To: b_sharp; neutrality; anguish; SeaLion; Fractal Trader; grjr21; bitt; KevinDavis; Momaw Nadon; ...
FutureTechPing!
An emergent technologies list covering biomedical
research, fusion power, nanotech, AI robotics, and
other related fields. FReepmail to join or drop.

5 posted on 11/23/2006 12:15:46 PM PST by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: LibWhacker

6 posted on 11/23/2006 12:21:21 PM PST by Andy from Beaverton (I'm so anti-pc, I use a Mac)
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To: LibWhacker

So if I understand this correctly, the bullet would push the fabric into the body causing all kinds of damage, but the fabric won't break?

What am I getting wrong here?


7 posted on 11/23/2006 12:26:00 PM PST by bnelson44 (Proud parent of a tanker! (Welcome Home, son! You and your comrades are our heroes!))
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To: bnelson44

Could be wrong, but I'm assuming the nanotubes spread out the energy of the impact over the whole shirt.


8 posted on 11/23/2006 12:32:00 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: bnelson44

My guess is that a really bad bruise is usually going to be better than a perforation and a large exit wound.


9 posted on 11/23/2006 12:33:13 PM PST by NearlyNormal (Our military wins wars, the liberals and their MSM lose them.)
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To: 353FMG
Bulletproof underwear, that's the future.

This guy could have used such.

10 posted on 11/23/2006 12:34:48 PM PST by sionnsar (?trad-anglican.faithweb.com?|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: LibWhacker

"Could be wrong, but I'm assuming the nanotubes spread out the energy of the impact over the whole shirt."

I don't think so. As such, even if it could prevent a slug from getting through the material, it would create some massive trauma at the point of impact and hurt like all get out. OTO, you would likely live to fight another day.


11 posted on 11/23/2006 12:40:12 PM PST by roaddog727 (BullS##t does not get bridges built)
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To: The Spirit Of Allegiance

This is going right into the novel I'm writing. HooYah


12 posted on 11/23/2006 12:41:37 PM PST by FastCoyote
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To: LibWhacker

Well, the next logical step would be exotic bullets [say, with no spin - aerodynamic stabilization with fins and long boattail, but with a small shaped charge. Impact velocity will be 8000m/sec or better]. Similar game was played by Krupp ages ago. Better armor plate - and then better artillery shell, and then still better armor plate, and again, still better shell... The Kaiser saw it right through, but had to pay from both ends anyway.


13 posted on 11/23/2006 12:48:08 PM PST by GSlob
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To: bnelson44
So if I understand this correctly, the bullet would push the fabric into the body causing all kinds of damage, but the fabric won't break?

Precisely ... the fabric may not allow the projectile to penetrate ... but the material is so thin it will allow the projectile to push the fabric well into the body tissue.

14 posted on 11/23/2006 12:53:23 PM PST by BluH2o
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To: The Spirit Of Allegiance
I'm Jocelyn Elders and I approved this message.

Hi, Jocelyn, still using cornhuskers on your hands?

Really love a story that has might, and could, and maybe. Give the guy a few million and he might, could, may have something.

15 posted on 11/23/2006 1:09:29 PM PST by org.whodat (Never let the facts get in the way of a good assumption.)
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To: Ajnin

As far as I know, we still can't make transparent objects out of this stuff. So, as we do in games like Halo when the enemy has body armor that you can't get through, go for faceplates.


16 posted on 11/23/2006 1:13:54 PM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Ajnin
Just wait and see what happens when the politicaians politicians think they can screw with the public with no consequences.

Only if they wear this underwear over their head and face.

17 posted on 11/23/2006 1:14:07 PM PST by technomage (Protest Voters are ignorant, immature, selfish people who have no capacity for long term thinking)
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To: bnelson44
Forgive the source, I had to get this from Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk

Mongols used silk as part of the under-armor garments. Silk is so tough that it was actually used as very light armor, although its special use (the big secret) was to stop arrow penetration into the body. The silk would stop an arrow from penetrating far enough into the body to be lethal; and the arrow could then be pulled out of the wound by tugging on the unbroken silk. The added advantage to this is that there would be no contact between the arrowhead and the interior of the body; thus it reduces the incidence of infected wounds.

There would be perforation with this nanotube armor, but a great deal less trauma than a through and through wound channel.
18 posted on 11/23/2006 1:14:41 PM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (Mohammedism - Bringing you only the best of the 6th century for fourteen hundred years.)
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To: Andy from Beaverton; LibWhacker
Cool !

I have all the other pieces to my outfit ... cape, tights, belted speedo, boots ...


19 posted on 11/23/2006 1:20:28 PM PST by knarf (Islamists kill each other ... News wall-to-wall, 24/7 .. don't touch that dial.)
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To: 353FMG
Bulletproof underwear, that's the future.

Being shot in the groin would still be one hell of kick in the balls. All that bullet's energy has to go somewhere. If this happened to you, you might wish you were dead for awhile.

20 posted on 11/23/2006 1:33:15 PM PST by Jeff Gordon (History convinces me that bad government results from too much government. - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Spktyr

I was wondering if it would be possible/effective to make a latticework of CNTs in the lenses of some eye protection to increase their overall protective ability. It seems like they're thin enough where they wouldn't interfere with vision, but would they still retain their effectiveness?


21 posted on 11/23/2006 1:38:22 PM PST by Future Snake Eater (My Savior beat up your Prophet!)
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To: Andy from Beaverton

from the planet of Krypton!


22 posted on 11/23/2006 1:40:16 PM PST by bannie
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To: LibWhacker

Where does the line form to get this technology? I think the Chinese would be interested. So would the Iranians, North Koreans, Cubans, Venezuelans, ...


23 posted on 11/23/2006 2:13:21 PM PST by C210N (Bush SPIED, Terrorists DIED!)
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To: C210N

... Hamasians, Hezbollahians, Al Qaida-ians, ...


24 posted on 11/23/2006 2:14:08 PM PST by C210N (Bush SPIED, Terrorists DIED!)
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To: BluH2o
... but the material is so thin it will allow the projectile to push the fabric well into the body tissue.

You're assuming the armor consists of one layer of fabric. Once you have bullet-proof fabric the weight of t-shirt material, all sorts of body armor lighter, and more comfortable, than what is now available become feasible: a layer of the (still hypothetical) CNT fabric, a layer of something to absorb and distribute energy (anything from cotton batting to fine-mesh titanium chainmail to the other hypothetical body-armor component: fabric impregnated with a non-newtonian fluid) and another layer of the CNT fabric would do nicely.

Of course, the less protective, but far less obtrusive, one-layer of fabric version might become normative for folks who have reason to fear assassination.

25 posted on 11/23/2006 2:18:12 PM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: LibWhacker
Bulletproof at what thickness? I mean, would the thickness and drape and feel of the fabric be the same? I'm somehow reminded of Monty Python "fake news" reporting about a man who crossed the Atlantic in a life raft...a specially modified life raft with a 38 foot fiberglass hull, three luxury cabins, twin diesel engines, a hot tub, etc....

At some point, what they call a t-shirt just isn't a mere t-shirt anymore.

26 posted on 11/23/2006 2:22:18 PM PST by Petronski (BRABANTIO: Thou art a villain. IAGO: You are--a senator. ---Othello I.i.)
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To: Dr.Zoidberg
There would be perforation with this nanotube armor, but a great deal less trauma than a through and through wound channel.

The "silk" analogy makes much more sense, though I'd suggest that it would more accurately "bullet resistant."

27 posted on 11/23/2006 2:25:30 PM PST by Petronski (BRABANTIO: Thou art a villain. IAGO: You are--a senator. ---Othello I.i.)
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To: LibWhacker

So why not just make bullets out of carbon nanotubes?


28 posted on 11/23/2006 2:25:50 PM PST by kittycatonline.com
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To: kittycatonline.com

Way to go blab...


29 posted on 11/23/2006 2:36:02 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (Difference between the CIA and the Free Clinic is that the Free Clinic knows how to stop a leak.)
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To: LibWhacker

I see a great marketing oppurtunity here for bullet-proof pajamas. Just the thing for the WOD, no-knock raids that seem to be so popular.


30 posted on 11/23/2006 2:50:20 PM PST by dljordan
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To: bnelson44
the bullet would push the fabric into the body causing all kinds of damage, but the fabric won't break?

hmmm..Seems so, Massive internal injuries (broken bones/ruptured organs....dead person)
...bright side..no holes / tears in the Tee-shirt.

31 posted on 11/23/2006 2:59:57 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just b/c your paranoid; Doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you. :^)
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To: 353FMG
Bulletproof underwear, that's the future.

Having heard the DSO decoration/medal described as the award
for "D-ck Shot Off"...
bulletproof underwear sounds like a winner.
As long as males of the species go to war!
32 posted on 11/23/2006 3:07:04 PM PST by VOA
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To: Dark Wing

ping


33 posted on 11/23/2006 3:10:31 PM PST by Thud
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To: LibWhacker
While it may be possible to eventually construct fabric from threads so strong that they will not be broken by the impact from a bullet, there still remains the problem of how to dissipate the bullet's energy.

As illustrated in the article, if the fabric stopped the bullet, what would happen if this was a 'bulletproof' tee shirt, is that the bullet would proceed onward through the skin of the target subject, dragging the tee shirt with it into the wound.

For any fabric to prevent wounding by a bullet, it must have an energy-absorbing backing, which means a support or padding that can dissipate the bullet's kinetic energy over a large enough area of the human body so it will not suffer more than a bruise.
34 posted on 11/23/2006 3:16:48 PM PST by theBuckwheat
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To: Dr.Zoidberg
Not to mention the absence of shock wave damage.

There would be perforation with this nanotube armor, but a great deal less trauma than a through and through wound channel.

35 posted on 11/23/2006 5:56:34 PM PST by Thud
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To: LibWhacker
>> Could be wrong, but I'm assuming the nanotubes spread out the energy of the impact over the whole shirt.

Preferably to the back of the shirt which would propel the victim towards the shooter...
36 posted on 11/23/2006 6:00:30 PM PST by Gene Eric
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To: theBuckwheat

Friction alone would significantly impede dragging of the nanotube undershirt into the wound, i.e., a significant amount of the round's energy would be transferred to the skin surface surrounding the impact.


37 posted on 11/23/2006 6:00:49 PM PST by Thud
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To: bnelson44

Other materials such as fluids with extremely high shear forces would probably be added so that the result would be like wearing a thin, flexible suit of armor that would harden in an instant and dissipate the mechanical force of impact into chemical and thermal energy. The concept is contrary to common sense and it took me several readings and some thought before I understood it.


38 posted on 11/23/2006 6:31:31 PM PST by Rockingham
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To: LibWhacker

Sounds cool, but I don't want to be the first to test it.


39 posted on 11/23/2006 6:37:44 PM PST by Nachoman (Just because you're a kook doesn't mean there isn't a conspiracy.)
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To: 353FMG
Bulletproof underwear, that's the future.

Protection against head shots.


40 posted on 11/23/2006 6:40:22 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Who invented rock and roll hiccups?)
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To: Thud
Definitely.

Bullet proof cloth may not be a cure all, but it would be a danged sight better than nothing at all.

I would love to own a set of long johns made of this stuff. I'd wear them everywhere. =-)
41 posted on 11/23/2006 6:52:12 PM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (Mohammedism - Bringing you only the best of the 6th century for fourteen hundred years.)
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To: LibWhacker
A piece of diamond .. was used as a bullet...
Someone's always trying to 'one up' the Lone Ranger.
42 posted on 11/24/2006 6:05:22 AM PST by Condor51 (Tagline Under Construction - Kindly Wear Your Hardhat)
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To: Revolting cat!
Get your mind out of the gutter boy..... NANO These......
43 posted on 11/24/2006 6:17:22 AM PST by jmq (Islam=Religion of Peace)
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To: jmq
LOL!......My, My, What's the stretched factor on this "evolving" Technology? :D
44 posted on 11/24/2006 7:42:06 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just b/c your paranoid; Doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you. :^)
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To: LibWhacker

Very interesting...proper nanotube weaves combined with shear thickening fluids will be a big step forward in lightweight ballistic body armour...

Of course that will then encourage military establishments to develop man-portable railguns...

Alas as long as for whatever reason some people want to kill other people, and those other people dont want to be killed by them, the arms/armour race will never end...


45 posted on 11/28/2006 3:17:05 AM PST by FYREDEUS (FYREDEUS)
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To: Spktyr
So, as we do in games like Halo when the enemy has body armor that you can't get through, go for faceplates.

"Why do you think I wear a target on my chest -- can't armor my head."
--Batman (The Dark Knight Returns)

46 posted on 11/28/2006 7:43:05 AM PST by steve-b (It's hard to be religious when certain people don't get struck by lightning.)
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To: LibWhacker

The age of metals ends and the age of the synthetic arrives


47 posted on 11/28/2006 7:47:56 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: LibWhacker
So, let me get this straight. The bullet wont penetrate the t-shirt fabric? That's great. So we just have to worry about the t-shirt fabric penetrating the wearer's body in the shape of a bullet. Beautiful.
48 posted on 11/28/2006 7:58:09 AM PST by semaj
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