New body armour for soldiers

A new body armour - bullet-proof custard - could help save soldiers` lives.

Updated: Jan 14, 2011, 13:29 PM IST

London: A new body armour - bullet-proof custard - could help save soldiers` lives.
It is made up of a substance that absorbs the force of a shot or shrapnel by thickening and hardening instantly on impact.

Researchers have inserted the formula called a shear thickening fluid between sheets of traditional Kevlar to produce the `super armour`.

The liquid has been compared to custard because the molecules lock together and `thicken` in the same way as the dessert sauce reacts to being stirred when heated.

Experts say this will create armour that is about half as heavy as standard bullet-proof vests which allows greater manoeuvrability for troops, the Daily Mail reports.

Soldiers currently struggle with bulky body armour made up of ceramic plates and layered Kevlar, which is five times stronger than steel but can restrict movement.

The pioneering technology has been created by a team of scientists at the global defence and security company BAE systems in Filton, Bristol.

Researchers tested the material by firing bullets from a 9mm handgun into 31 layers of untreated Kevlar and 10 layers of Kevlar combined with the `custard`.

When the liquid armour was struck by the projectile, the impact was dispersed over a wider area.

This reduces the chances of soldiers being injured or killed by the force of a bullet because it is not concentrated on one small area.