Metal Foam for Body Armor

It seems to me that advances in cell phone technology proceed at a very rapid pace, while advances in firearms, ammo, and body armor move at a snail’s pace. I suppose there are cultural and economic reasons why the one product cycle is rapid and the other is slow. Yet I read an interesting story over at Gizmodo about an advancement in body armor technology: Watch Metal Foam Annihilate an Armor-Piercing Bullet. This is a legit story, based on a post over at PhysOrg about the technology.

The video seen here shows a composite armor made out of her composite metal foams. The bullet in the video is a 7.62 x 63 millimeter M2 armor piercing projectile, which was fired according to the standard testing procedures established by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). And the results were dramatic.

“We could stop the bullet at a total thickness of less than an inch, while the indentation on the back was less than 8 millimeters,” Rabiei says. “To put that in context, the NIJ standard allows up to 44 millimeters indentation in the back of an armor.” [PhysOrg]

This approach to body armor allows a much lighter design to still stop a 30 caliber armor-piercing round. Very useful for military and law enforcement. Let’s hope we see some commercial products based on this tech soon.

– Thoreau

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