Bullets 'bounce' off nanotech vest

Bullets 'bounce' off nanotech vest

Boffins use carbon nanotubes to create new bullet-proof material

Nanotechnology experts have found a way to harness the elasticity of carbon nanotubes to create a material that can not only stop bullets, but rebound their force.

The revolutionary material is detailed in a research paper published by engineers from the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology at the University of Sydney.

The researchers note that most anti-ballistic materials, like bullet-proof jackets and explosion-proof blankets, are made of multiple layers of Kevlar, Twaron or Dyneema fibres which stop bullets from penetrating by spreading the projectiles' force.

But targets can still be left suffering blunt force trauma such as severe bruising or, worse, damage to critical organs.

However, the elasticity of carbon nanotubes means that blunt force trauma may be avoided prompting the engineers to undertake experiments to find the optimum point of elasticity for the most effective "bullet-bouncing" gear.

Professor Liangchi Zhang and Dr Kausala Mylvaganam from the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology in Sydney, said: "By investigating the force-repelling properties of carbon nanotubes and concluding on an optimum design, we may produce far more effective bullet-proof materials.

"The dynamic properties of the materials we have found means that a bullet can be repelled with minimum or no damage to the wearer of a bullet-proof vest. "