Shear thickening fluid armor
New technology is growing at a faster rate than ever before and body armor is no exception to this trend. Shear thickening fluid, commonly known as STF or liquid armor is a new, emerging technology in the military-protection industry.
This liquid composite is currently being tested and developed by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.More specifically, STF is composed by polyethylene, non-toxic glycol, and particles of silica. According to Dr. Eric Wetzel, U.S. Army’s leading engineer, this liquid can be applied to Kevlar to add an extra layer of protection to conventional vests.
How will liquid protect me from something solid?
Surprisingly, STF stays in a liquid, lightweight form during normal use when wearing a vest. But, as soon as a solid object like a bullet, frag, arrow, or shotgun pellet impacts the Kevlar, this liquid transforms into a rigid, solid structure. This provides instant protection to an individual, thus saving their life.
Unlike traditional Kevlar, polyethylene, glycol and silica have a high-temperature tolerance. As a result, STF can provide explosion protection to a certain degree.
When will I be able to obtain this technology?
Please keep in mind that for your safety, this technology is still ongoing rigorous testing. According to Dr, Wetzel and his University of Delaware students, STF has been tested for three years to ensure optimum quality, durability, and protection.
Wait, isn’t new technology scarce and expensive?
Yes, but once liquid armor passes rigorous testing, the goal is to mass produce it so it becomes cheapand abundant. Also, liquid armor is so versatile that it can used in other scenarios like bomb threats; it can be used a liquid blanket to cover suspicious objects.
What other uses does STF have?
Say for example a police officer or prison guard requires protection from handmade weapons at all times. This liquid armor can do a better job at protecting their lives than conventional Kevlar.
STF also can be applied in areas where regular vests cannot reach such as sleeves, pants, and even helmets.
According to the Next Big Future, this technology could be also applied into car bumpers and road barriers.
Is this technology currently only being tested by the U.S. Army?
No, since 2015, STF has gained a lot of global interest. Because of this, scientists in Poland have in fact determined that this technology has potential and could eventually become a replacement for Kevlarshould it pass rigorous testing.
“The liquid is placed in special pouches that are worn within vests to protect the body while also allowing for a good range of movement. When the clothing is hit by a bullet, the liquid absorbs the impact and prevents any major damage to organs,” Olivia Solon, writer for the British website the Mirror, said.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is also trying to build a liquid body armor made from STF.
Has this new technology been recognized at all?
Yes, the U.S. Army recognized Dr. Wetzel and his team’s hard work by giving them the 2002 Paul A. Siple
Award at the Army Science Conference.
Is there any other information that I should know in regards of body armor?
Of course, we thank you very much for reading this article; we hope this enriches your mind with useful information.
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