After a little more than a year of research and more than 20 attempts to get the right materials, an Air Force Academy cadet and a professor at the school have developed a kind of goo that can be used to enhance existing types of body armor.
As part of a chemistry class project in 2014, Cadet 1st Class Hayley Weir was assigned epoxy, Kevlar, and carbon fiber to use to create a material that could stop a bullet.
The project grabbed Weir’s interest. “Like Under Armour, for real,” she said.
The materials reminded her of Oobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid — which thickens when force is applied — made of cornstarch and water and named after a substance from a Dr. Seuss book, and she became interested in producing a material that would stop bullets without shattering. An adviser suggested swapping in a thickening fluid for the epoxy, which hardened when it dried.
” Up to that point, it was the coolest thing I’d done as a cadet,” Weir, set to graduate this spring, told Air Force Times.
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Featured image courtesy of U.S. Air Force Academy.
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