Thomas Tool

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Thomas Tool

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Stronger than a speeding bullet (MIT)

Providing protection against impacts from bullets and other high-speed
projectiles is more than just a matter of brute strength. While traditional
shields have been made of bulky materials such as steel, newer body armor made
of lightweight material such as Kevlar has shown that thickness and weight are
not necessary for absorbing the energy of impacts. Now, a new study by
researchers at MIT and Rice University has shown that even lighter materials
may be capable of doing the job just as effectively.

The key is to use composites made of two or more materials whose stiffness and
flexibility are structured in very specific ways — such as in alternating
layers just a few nanometers thick. The research team produced miniature high-
speed projectiles and measured the effects they had on the impact-absorbing
material.

The results of the research are reported in the journal _Nature
Communications_, in a paper co-authored by former postdoc Jae-Hwang Lee, now a
research scientist at Rice; postdoc Markus Retsch; graduate student Jonathan
Singer; Edwin Thomas, a former MIT professor who is now at Rice; graduate
student David Veysset; former graduate student Gagan Saini; former postdoc
Thomas Pezeril, now on the faculty at ...

MIT

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