Carbon Nanotubes – New Body Armor and Bomb Protection

Nanotechnolgoy continues to produce many exciting avenues for improvement.

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A new type of carbon fibre, developed at the University of Cambridge, could be woven into super-strong body armour for the military and law enforcement.

Single-walled carbon nanotube. Image courtesy of Alan Windle/University of Cambridge.

Our fibre is up there with the existing high performance fibres

Alan Windle, University of Cambridge

“These nanotube fibres possess characteristics which enable them to be woven as a cloth, or incorporated into composite materials to produce super-strong products,” said Professor Windle.

Future soldier concept. Image: US Army/Sgt Lorie Jewell.

But the new material could also find applications in the area of hi-tech “smart” clothing, bomb-proof refuse bins, flexible solar panels, and, eventually, as a replacement for copper wire in transmitting electrical power and signals.
Nanotubes are made from graphite which is – along with diamond – one of two common forms carbon takes in nature. In graphite, carbon atoms are bonded in hexagon structures to form flat layers that are stacked on top of one another like sheets of paper.

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