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Thread: Best body armor material with lowest weight?

  1. #1 Best body armor material with lowest weight? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    You have been taken prisoner with 9 other people of similar shape and physique as yourself. There is a race, all 10 of you are to run 500 meters. But ALSO - on the finnish line you must survive being shot 3 times with 7.62 caliber and 10 times with 9mm rounds to win your freedom. After the first 3 are in goal the rest will be killed of by explosives planted inside them.

    Your captors has granted you what you need to make any armor from any combination of any material available on earth, with scientists and engineers sitting on all current known technology. (No science fiction or fantasy here)

    What materials would you make it from and why, to make it as weight efficent and withstanding as possible?


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    Start with loose robe. Weave the fabric with wire, coated in polystyrene, then sew on an inner and outer lining of relatively thin ballistic fabric like Kevlar.

    A bullet will puncture this BUT there's more:

    Connect the insulated wires of the robe's inner fabric to a little circuit board with battery and some good sized capacitors. When a wire is broken, a capacitor discharges into neighbouring wires, instantly heating them and the thermoplastic insulation, which contracts to about 1/7th original size. This should bunch the robe up like a shar pei's hide, around the bullet.

    Maybe.


    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    If your device reacts to a wire already being broken, the layer of plastic on your wires won't have nearly enough time to melt or shrink.

    You cannot make it faster by using more electric power from bigger capacitors - this will result in burning the plastic locally (in immediate vicinity of the wire, measured in microns) instead of heating/melting/shrinking its whole thickness.

    Unless perhaps if you used microwaves instead of resistive heating. But still, it would be a tremendous feat.
    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
    History teaches us that we don't learn from history.
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  5. #4  
    Time Lord
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    I think you're right. I just like the idea of electronic fabric and pinching the bullet.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  6. #5  
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    First I would wear a layer of kevlar. On top of the layer of kevlar I would wear the new "Dragon" armor the military is developing. Basically what that is is interlocking layers of kevlar and plastic with titanium chains tying them together. When a bullet hits this material it bends and compresses with the impact sort of like water. The principle is that a strong material that can absorb the impact is better then a thick layer of a material that doesn't have any give like metal. While I would be pretty damn hot, I would be fast and well-defended.
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  7. #6  
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    dragon scale baby!!

    stops bullets even multiple impacts with out fracturable armor plates and it's extreamly light weight.
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  8. #7  
    Time Lord
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    I dunno. I like the Iron Man movie suggestion: gold/titanium alloy. (Just have to hope that part isn't a myth) I don't know exactly how I'd make the alloy, of course. What kind of tools do they give you? Do you think they'd lend a textbook or two as well?


    Or .... more seriously: Try and get the kevlar and stuff, but for the outer layer find something really hard, like diamond shards or something, in hopes of maybe causing the bullet to shatter before it hits the lower layers. If it shatters first, then the next layer doesn't have to absorb the whole impact in one place. (Though the shards will still all hit within a short distance of each other).
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