British scientists have created a way to make bulletproof vests lighter and less cumbersome.
Custard might be able to support a person's weight, but could it stop a bullet? Well, not quite, but scientists have used the same principle to develop a force absorbing liquid for use in personal armor.
BAE Systems in the UK fired ball bearing shaped bullets at over 300 meters per second into two test materials: 31 layers of untreated Kevlar and 10 layers of Kevlar combined with its liquid armor. What it found was that the liquid/Kevlar combination was much more effective than Kevlar alone.
"It's very similar to custard in the sense that the molecules lock together when it's struck," said Stewart Penny, BAE's business development manager. "The Kevlar with the liquid works much faster and the impact isn't anything like as deep."
While research into liquid armor isn't new, BAE believes that its tests are the first clear evidence that such material could protect soldiers from bullets and shrapnel. It also thinks that the liquid could make body armor much more comfortable to wear, as the amount of material required to offer decent protection is much reduced.