Author Topic: T shirts to body armour  (Read 5166 times)

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Offline Thucydides

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T shirts to body armour
« on: April 10, 2010, 19:45:44 »
Lightweight and flexible armour? Bring it!

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/09/usc-scientists-figur.html

Quote
USC scientists figure out how to turn t-shirts into body armor

Lisa Katayama at 9:43 AM April 9, 2010

Researchers at the University of South Carolina have figured out how to combine the carbon component of cotton with boron to create a cotton t-shirt with the toughness of body armor.

    The scientists started with plain, white T-shirts that were cut into thin strips and dipped into a boron solution. The strips were later removed from the solution and heated in an oven. The heat changes the cotton fibers into carbon fibers, which react with the boron solution and produce boron carbide.

Boron carbide is the same stuff that's used to protect tanks, but the boron carbide nanowire fabric that the USC team created has the added benefit of being flexible, lightweight, and elastic.
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Offline The Crowe

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Re: T shirts to body armour
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2010, 19:56:45 »
Not that I have any direct use for this, but this is fantastic! A technology like this will help our soldiers of today and future be more mobile and combat the major issues of plate based armour (weak protection of joints/areas that need high flex).

Regardless cheers to the safety and well being of our soldiers! It's great to see advances like this!
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Offline Matt_Fisher

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Re: T shirts to body armour
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2010, 08:45:31 »
A problem that seems to be occuring with nano technology in such applications is that over time, as the nano fibers break down, the particles become airborne, and can become inhaled into the lungs.  The end result is very similar to asbestos particles creating scar tissue and the ensuing cancerous tumors. 

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL2077086320080520?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews

The other significant issue faced here is that of blunt force trauma/back face deforation.  Whilst the 't-shirt' type body armour may stop a round, what happens to all that kinetic energy?  There is still a serious likelihood of internal damage i.e. broken bones, ruptured organs, internal hemorraging, etc. with a material that isn't able to dissipate that energy like a SAPI plate, or multiple layers of kevlar/dyneema.

Offline Snaketnk

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Re: T shirts to body armour
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 09:10:17 »
I think, like all forms of PPE, it would be best used in conjuction with other systems for best protection. The best use of this I can personally imagine (and I'm no expert) is to cover areas of the body that would be difficult to cover due to the amount of flex needed or because of bulk; ie the neck, arms, legs, thighs, groin, etc. It would stop frag from cutting up important arteries in those areas and reduce the damage to blunt force. No idea how much kinetic energy is carried by the "average" frag (if something exists) in today's environment, though.

Again, I'm no SME, just a grunt, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
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Offline joning soon.

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Re: T shirts to body armour
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2015, 20:39:42 »
I'm not sure about this stuff, does it become rigid when struck, or does it simply stop projectiles from penetrating the shirt, but still penetrating the body behind it? if that's the case then the only upside to it is easier removal of the bullet, which may be problematic for sensitive areas.

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: T shirts to body armour
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2015, 21:32:43 »
I'm not sure about this stuff, does it become rigid when struck, or does it simply stop projectiles from penetrating the shirt, but still penetrating the body behind it? if that's the case then the only upside to it is easier removal of the bullet, which may be problematic for sensitive areas.

You do realize that this is a five year old thread, don't you?  And they were simply discussing results of university based scientific research into an alternate method of creating boron carbide nanofibres that "could" be more flexible. They were not designing an armoured t-shirt - they used the cotton material from t-shirts as a starting point to convert into carbon fibres.  If you did a google-fu of "cotton boron carbon fibre body armor" you would get a lot of hits, all of the same vintage (~5+ years ago) and saying mostly the same thing.
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