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HOW IT COMPARESWhat is shear-thickening uid (STF)?
While liquid armour provdesa similar level of protectionit is more exible and is45 per cent thinner thanexisting Kevlar armour.Existing Kevlar armouris sti, it can impeedmovement andcause dis-comfort.BAE Systems is developing radical new 'Liquid Armour' that gives soldiersthe same level of protection they currently enjoy but allows them to movewith much greater freedom. It takes advantage of the distinctive propertiesof shear-thickening uids and combines them with Kevlar, one of thematerials used in current armour.It is a uid in which special particles arefreely suspended. When the uid isdisturbed the particles collide, creatinga resistance to the disturbance. If the forceof the disturbance is large enough, theparticles will actually lock together.If you were to slowlystir a container of STF you would feelsome resistance. If you began to stirfaster, the resitancewould increase.
HOW IT WORKS
NOTE: These illustrations are schematic and do not represent 100% accurate depictions of the subject matter.
SOURCE: BAE Systems
P O I N T O F I M P A C T
When traditional Kevlar is struck by a bulletthe major physical deformation of thematerial is local to the point of impact.It can also be seen that the bullet hassignicantly “dented” the material.When liquid armuor is struck by a bullet the forceis spread over a wider area. After impact theliquid armour returns to a exible form.In cross-section, it can be seen that the depth of penetration is also less than in traditional Kevlar.
TRADITIONAL KEVLAR LIQUID ARMOUR (Kevlar with STF)
Side view Side viewSide view Side view
Harnessing the strength of shear-thickening uid