Lighter bulletproof vest —06/20/2019 - 07:00 Materials
A new, lighter bulletproof armor ... composed of boron carbide fibers ... [is] capable of stopping a .30-caliber bullet.... The armor weighs about six pounds per square foot, compared to previous boron carbide armor of seven pounds per square foot.... Until now boron carbide armor has been used mainly to protect vital helicopter parts, but the lighter...
Lobster bisque and shrimp cocktail make for scrumptious meals, but at a price. The food industry generates 6 million to 8 million metric tons of crab, shrimp and lobster shell waste every year. Depending on the country, those claws and legs largely get dumped back into the ocean or into landfills.
In many of those same landfills, plastic trash relentlessly accumulates. Humans have...
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A new graphene-based foam is the first material to remain soft and squishy even at deep cryogenic temperatures.
Most materials become stiff and brittle in extreme cold. But the new foam stays superelastic even when it’s subjected to the temperature of liquid helium: –269.15° Celsius. A material that remains pliable at such low temperatures could be used to build devices for use in space...
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Bacteria are helping to make engineered silk that rivals the strength and stretchiness of a spider’s stiff dragline silk, the type from which the arachnids dangle.
Pound for pound, dragline silk is stronger and tougher than steel. Engineers have tried for decades to create a synthetic mimic from genetically modified bacteria, yeast and even goat milk, but have always fallen short....
Oil and water may not mix, but the two have now revealed a new example of structural color, in which an object’s hue arises from its shape.
Studying droplets made of two layers of clear oil, researchers discovered that, depending on a viewer’s perspective, the tiny blobs glowed a variety of vibrant colors under white light. In a petri dish, same-sized droplets changed color as the dish...
A new, nearly weightless insulation material can withstand extreme heat that would destroy other materials.
The porous aerogel is at least 99 percent open space, with the rest made up of an atomically thin ceramic called hexagonal boron nitride. The design proves extremely durable under high temperatures and rapid temperature shifts of over 1,000 degrees Celsius, researchers report in...
Someday, the same shirt could be part of your summer and winter wardrobe, using fabric that alternates between breathable and insulating.
Unlike other heat-accommodating cloth, which has to be flipped inside out to switch from warm to cool (SN: 2/17/18, p. 5), the new dual-use fabric adapts to how much the wearer is sweating. This material may be useful for making sportswear or clothing...
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Human-made metamaterials with messy internal designs may be more resistant to damage than those with neatly patterned structures.
Metamaterial lattices, usually composed of struts that form identical, repeating “unit cells,” can exhibit properties that normal solids don’t (SN: 1/19/19, p. 5). But under heavy loads, overstressed struts can collapse, and that breakage quickly splinters...