by Ryan Maass
Washington (UPI) Mar 8, 2017
Research chemists at U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have developed and patented a transparent thermoplastic elastomer armor to reduce weight, inherent in most bullet-resistant glass, while maintaining superior ballistic properties. Thermoplastic elastomers are soft, rubbery polymers converted by physical means, rather than a chemical process, to a solid. Consequently, the solidification is reversible and enables damaged armor surfaces to be repaired 'on-the-fly' in the field.
"Heating the material above the softening point, around 100 degrees Celsius, melts the small crystallites, enabling the fracture surfaces to meld together and reform via diffusion," said Dr. Mike Roland, senior scientist, NRL Soft Matter Physics.
"This can be accomplished with a hot plate, akin to an iron, that molds the newly forming surface into a smooth, flat sheet with negligible effect on integrity."
Up to now, NRL scientists have tested the use of polymeric materials as a coating to achieve improved impact resistance of hard substrates. Applying polyurea and polyisobutylene layers enhance the ballistic performance of armor and helmets, and achieve greater ballistic effectiveness and mitigation of blast waves.
By using a variation of employing thermoplastic elastomers, NRL scientists are able to recreate superior ballistic properties of polyurea and polyisobutylene coatings, with the added benefit of the material being transparent, lighter than conventional bullet-resistant glass, and repairable.
"Because of the dissipative properties of the elastomer, the damage due to a projectile strike is limited to the impact locus. This means that the affect on visibility is almost inconsequential, and multi-hit protection is achieved," Roland said.
NRL's transparent thermoplastic elastomer armor technology is covered by U.S. Patent #9,285,191; "Polymer Coatings for Enhanced and Field-Repairable Transparent Armor."
Thuwal, Saudi Arabia (SPX) Mar 07, 2017
A chance observation of crystals forming a mark that resembled the stain of a coffee cup left on a table has led to the growth of customized polycrystals with implications for faster and more versatile semiconductors. Thin-film semiconductors are the foundation of a vast array of electronic and optoelectronic devices. They are generally fabricated by crystallization processes that yield polycrys ... read more
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|