Liquid Body Armor?

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“A company called BAE Systems is using a liquid technology that, theoretically, would make any Kevlar vest stronger,” kpho.com reports, following-up on a story about a Phoenix police officer whose Custom Armor Technologies model QVA-3A-1 ballistic vest failed to stop a round. “You would treat the Kevlar with the liquid armor; when you add force, the particles in the liquid collide, forming a solid barrier that absorbs the impact . . . You can use corn starch and water to get a similar effect. Once you stir completely, the solution retains a liquid form. But if you apply force, by hitting the solution with a spoon, for example, it becomes a solid, much like the liquid armor would.” Spock! Benefits . . .

[Phoenix Law Enforcement Association spokesman Joe] Clure tells us Kevlar vests are very stiff and hard to move in.

“That’s where I think this new technology will be benefit, it makes it lighter and certainly more pliable,” Clure said. The liquid armor is supposed to be 45 percent thinner than your average Kevlar vest, which would come in handy in our grueling summers. But Clure says he’s not getting too excited yet until he sees some field tests.

“I’m sure all law enforcement will be watching to see what happens with this,” he said.

As will BAE shareholders and anyone else whose job involves facing armed antagonists. Of course, some states (and Canada) are bound to ban the new technology for civilian use. [Click here for a look at BAE's current lineup of special operations/low visibilty [body] armor.]

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

8 Responses to Liquid Body Armor?

  1. avatarBLAMMO says:

    They’re called Non-Newtonian fluids.

    • avatarLemming says:

      On Mythbusters Adam Savage once tried to my corn starch solution armor. It didn’t work but there is no reason that a better non-Newtonian fluid couldn’t be used for armor.

  2. avatarSanchanim says:

    This sounds great!
    I know police have to deal with the weight and I am not sure what rounds are not stopped. I guess it depends on the weight as military jackets are much heavier usually.
    If this helps shore up some of the short cumming of the older style vests and saves lives I am all for it.
    Of course they need to send a pre production model to Adam Savage! I mean if anyone can break it they can!!! :-)

  3. avatarMogg says:

    Reminds me of the liquid armor from ‘Snowcrash’

  4. avatarRalph says:

    I’ve heard of “liquid courage,” but liquid armor? Maybe not.

  5. avatarAccur81 says:

    Definitely a cool idea, but I’ll believe it when I see it work.

  6. avatarJacob says:

    BAE are the guys who make Caimans and they also dab their fingers in just about every other contracting job that deals with the Army. I’ll give them one thing, a Caiman isn’t the most attractive vehicle, it doesn’t ride like a Cadillac but it’s gotten me home and has saved a lot of good friends asses. I’m pretty confident that if “Liquid Body Armor” is a better/lighter way to make body armor than the government will buy into it hands down.

  7. avatarkasper says:

    not sure why the author thinks it will be banned technology in Canada.

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