National defense should be a priority for any country. Therefore no wonder that scientists invest a lot of money, time, and knowledge to develop new ways of improvement for the US Army. Of course, wars don’t represent a quite pleasant chapter in the history of humanity, and it’s recommended to try kindly solving things as Charlie Chaplin’s character claimed very beautiful in that famous speech from “The Great Dictator.” But there’s only one thing to do when all you cherish in life is attacked, and that is to fight with the price of your own life.
The US Army understood those essential aspects of war, and a group of researchers from the University at Buffalo began to look for new ways the soldiers can have much more job security. With their journey being funded by ARO (Army Research Office), they found the answer in a surprising place: underwater.
Therefore, scientists decided to mimic the outer coating of pearls to create a plastic that it’s 14 times stronger and eight times lighter than steel, which makes the new material pretty efficient when it comes to coping with the dreadful impact of bullets and other projectiles. The new invention was published in the journal ACS Applied Polymer Materials.
The US Army Might Soon Use The New Material That Is Stronger And Lighter Than Steel
Dr. Shenqiang Ren, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, a member of University at Buffalo’s RENEW Institute, and the paper’s lead author where the new invention has been published declared: “The material is stiff, strong and tough. […] It could apply to vests, helmets and other types of body armor, as well as protective armor for ships, helicopters, and other vehicles.”
Will the US army or any other armies use the new material? Pretty much yes, because Dr. Evan Runnerstrom from ARO tells us the following: “Professor Ren’s work designing UHMWPE to dramatically improve impact strength may lead to new generations of lightweight armor that provide both protection and mobility for Soldiers.”
UHMWPE means ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene, which represents the bulk of the new material. Let’s just hope humans will find new ways to get along shortly, without the use of any armors or weapons. It may sound utopic, but wishing is for free.