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Looks like great body armour is almost here

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posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 06:19 PM
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A Georgia Institute of Technology researcher has developed a process that increases the hardness and improves the ballistic performance of the material used by the US military for body armour. The researcher's start-up company is commercialising the technology.

Boron carbide is the US Defense Department's material of choice for body armour. It is the third hardest material on earth, yet it's extremely lightweight. But it has an Achilles heel that piqued the interest of Georgia Tech Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Robert Speyer five years ago.

He knew that the boron carbide powder used to form the armour had a reputation for poor performance during sintering -- a high-temperature process in which particles consolidate, without melting, to eliminate pores between them in the solid state. Poor sintering yields a more porous material that fractures more easily – not a good thing for a soldier depending on it to stop a bullet.

Determined to understand the sintering problem, Speyer built an instrument called a differential dilatometer to measure the expansion and contraction of materials during sintering heat treatments to temperatures as high as 4,300 degrees Fahrenheit.

"As a particle compact sinters, it shrinks 12 to 15%," Speyer explained. "There are nuances that occur in contraction, and if you monitor them accurately (with a dilatometer), it tells you what is happening at different stages in the sintering process. So we used that information in conjunction with additional materials characterisation techniques to figure out the reasons why boron carbide didn't sinter well, and then found ways around them."


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Super cool, I just hope these hit the battlefield sooner rather than later. Even if it ends up costing more money.




posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 07:00 PM
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I have been following the development of personal equipment for the military closely for about 10 years now. I have been waiting for the days when our soldiers would look like the hollywood super soldeirs of tomorrow. We have the advanced fabrics, plastics and ceramics to enable a fully mobile, super soldier. If you have seen footage from Iraq, the marines are very well equiped, forget the slander from CNN and Kerry, they have the best equipment available, but, I would say that in 10 years from now, soliders will look unreal advanced. They will have full lightweight bodyarmor that is fabricated into the fabric clothing they wear, and might resemble the look of a football players stretch pants. Breathable lightweight armor fabric surrounding the solider with a full helmet, built with cpus and night vision and the new OIWC gun, this soldier survivability will skyrocket above todays numbers.

Nice find bro, I look forward to researching about this.

Train



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 07:47 PM
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Body armour is getting lighter and stronger all the time. Its a really interesting field to keep a eye on IMHO Some of the suggested future armour like Liquid armour that turns hard is pretty amazing. Body armour like the Interceptor vest are proven life savers. The amount of injuries to body extremities make up a large number of current war wounds. It only makes sense to extend armour to the arms and legs as it gets lighter and stronger. Most likely it will start with shoulder and thigh armour and then move on to other areas like the lower legs as the tech gets better.

It clear in my opinion the military has a future goal of full head to toe body armour for soldiers.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 08:03 PM
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Yup, the US is working on a full spectrum "upgrade" of it's individual soldiers.

The outlook has gone from viewing the common infantry man as a "rifleman" to viewing them as a "weapons platform". That may sound like semantics, but it is a completely different way of viewing the soldier.

Right now, you have the US mainly working on it's sensory and communication package for the GI weapons platform. Hence the Land Warrior program with the Laser Range Finder/Digital Compass. This will allow for pin point accuracy of indirect fire and accurate target identification (very important to aviod blue on blue fire).

As mentioned before, the Objective Individual Combat Weapon will make the common soldier more 'tank like' by allowing for several different optical views combined with different explosive munition types which can be detonated in door ways before they rach the back wall so that they may reach around corners so to speak.

Exoscelotons are in developement as well, which will greatly improve load bearing abilities of the common soldier, and thus allow for longer field time for the soldier or heavier weapons.

As materials and manufacturing techniques improve, the body armor of the comon soldier will as well. This will eventually all be combined to form a soldier with supreme battle field awareness, excessive leathality, and great survivability.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 08:49 PM
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Nice find


Even if this stuff doesn't pan out for body armour, it will undoubtedly find uses in any field where strong, light materials are desired. (aerospace is a big one) It might find use in other devices like cars, too. Providing that the material is cheap to make (no idea if it is; anyone know?) then it might see use all over the place.

Oh, and because I didn't know what this was (assuming others might not, either) here is a definition from dictionary.com for dilatometer:

Main Entry: di·la·tom·e·ter
Pronunciation: "dil-&-'täm-&t-&r, "dIl-
Function: noun
: an instrument for measuring thermal dilatation or expansion especially in determining coefficients of expansion of liquids or solids



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 09:03 PM
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I think this was an awesome find.

Just a question though....they have no pictures of it? What's up with that?

Keep up the good work.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 09:28 PM
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Speaking of soldiers as weapons platforms, do you guys remember the Aliens movie when sigorney weaver was piloting that full blody robotic loader. I envison a time when the Marines have personel walkers similar to that, kind of a mech-warrior situation. You would have the standard ground marines along side a dozen or so super mech soldiers. These robot suits could enable the solider to run at extremely high speeds, jump dozens of feet into the air and susatin immense damage. They would begin with exo-skelten prototypes, and progress to larger, more versitle mech warriors.

Train



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 11:36 PM
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Mechs are cool, but an expensive mech would be taken out by an inexpensive tank. They have too big a profile as well, making them an easier target.



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 12:01 AM
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Originally posted by BigTrain
Speaking of soldiers as weapons platforms, do you guys remember the Aliens movie when sigorney weaver was piloting that full blody robotic loader. I envison a time when the Marines have personel walkers similar to that, kind of a mech-warrior situation. You would have the standard ground marines along side a dozen or so super mech soldiers. These robot suits could enable the solider to run at extremely high speeds, jump dozens of feet into the air and susatin immense damage. They would begin with exo-skelten prototypes, and progress to larger, more versitle mech warriors.

Train


You will never see "walker" type of mechanical weapons systems. Legs are just too vulnerable, and as Snap said, they have a HUGE profile. The trend is for smaller profiles (and thus less to hit).

However, exoskeletons are very very real, and will be on the battle field sooner then most would believe.

They actually have workind prototypes right now.

The problem as of now is two fold.

First, they need a power source. Not just that, but one that can last long periods of time - at the very least 24 hourse of constant use, and preferably more then a week.

The second is building an exoskeleton that does not restrict a soldiers movement. It is one thing to tripple your strength, but what good is that if you become half as agile?

With the exoskeletons will come a new type of infentry designation, IMHO. We will start to see "heavy" "medium" and "light infentry" - just as there used to be heavy cavelry and light cavelry.

You'll have the heavy infentry with bigger, more combersome skeletons, and also bigger more powerfull weapons. Then you'll have the medium guys - more mobile then the heavies due to lighter skeletons and weapons, but still more heavilly armed then the light infentry, who will basically be what we have today - your regular foot soldiers.



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