Researchers have demonstrated a composite foam vehicle armor that stops 50 caliber bullets and armor-piercing rounds as well as a sheet of steel of the same thickness, but weighs half as much..
The new foam consists of stainless steel or titanium hollow spheres in a matrix of steel, titanium, aluminum or other metal alloys. For testing, researchers at North Carolina State University fabricated a rigid armor system with a ceramic front layer, a foam core and an aluminum back plate, bonded together with adhesive.
During testing, the composite was shot with conventional and armor-piercing .50 bullets, which collided with the plate at a speed of 500 to 885 m / s. The developed protective layer absorbed 72-75% of the kinetic energy of conventional cartridges and 68-78% of armor-piercing.
Although the resulting composite is half the weight of solid steel sheet, it provides the same effective protection for military vehicles. This will allow engineers to improve the performance of armored vehicles or reduce weight without sacrificing safety..
In the future, the researchers plan to improve armor, optimizing adhesion and layer thickness, which will further reduce weight and improve the overall effectiveness of protection. They also claim that the material effectively shields X-rays, neutron, gamma rays, and is twice as good as metals at coping with fire and heat..
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Earlier, the same team demonstrated a foam metal that absorbs a blast wave and shrapnel flying at a speed of 1.5 km / s from shells exploding at a distance of less than half a meter..
Recall that recently scientists have made a porous metal, light as fluff.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo and video: North Carolina State University