Scientists create carbon pillar ultra-light armor material with better performance than Kevlar
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A new armor material based on nano-carbon pillar structure (from: MIT)
Laser processing to form a lattice structure composed of repeated microscopic pillars, and then This material is placed in a high-temperature vacuum chamber to convert the polymer into ultra-light carbon. It is said that the researchers’ inspiration came from special foams designed to absorb shocks.
The lead author of the study, Carlos Portela, said: “We have seen it in the foam materials used in energy-saving buildings before. Although the common carbon materials are very brittle, the small-sized pillars in the nanostructure are arranged. Let it form a rubber-like curved dominant structure.”
The new material can absorb the impact of particle “cannonball” , Instead of letting them shatter during the impact.
The research team found that the characteristics of this lattice material can be changed by fine-tuning its structure. For example, the different arrangements of carbon pillars give them different characteristics.
Although this is a common feature of nanostructured materials, the MIT team used an interesting method to study its specific effects under real-world conditions.
The particle-to-nano structure captured by a high-speed camera The impact of materials-1
Carlos Portela said: “We only know how they react in a slow deformation state, but many practical uses are assumed to give you almost no buffer time to deal with it.”
The impact experiment design is designed on a glass slide coated with gold film and silicon oxide particles on one side, and then an ultrafast laser is irradiated onto the glass slide, waiting for the generation of plasma or rapidly expanding gas, thereby reducing the particles Push from the surface to the target.
Micro-particle-to-nano structure captured by high-speed camera Impact of materials-2
Adjusting the laser power, in turn, will also affect the ejection speed, so that scientists can conduct a series of experiments based on different speeds in the study of the potential of new armor materials.
During this period, I tried to emit particles at a speed of 40 ~ 1100 meters per second (89 ~ 2460 miles per hour), so a high-speed camera must be used to capture the impact event under supersonic conditions.
The MIT team found a Advanced materials that can absorb particle projectiles
The research team also carried out a series of tests with carbon pillars of different thicknesses to find the best design. For example, by embedding particles in the material, instead of tearing it hard.
Carlos Portela explained: “We have proved that this material can absorb a lot of energy, because of its impact compaction mechanism on the nano-scale, which is more compact than a completely dense and monolithic non-nanostructured material. Significant advantage”.
The new material is thinner than human hair
After in-depth analysis of this material, which is thinner than the diameter of human hair, the researchers found that it can absorb more effectively than steel, aluminum, and even Kevlar fibers of the same weight. Shock.
Looking forward, this technology is expected to be applied to ultra-lightweight impact-resistant armor or protective coatings in the fields of defense and aerospace, and to promote the design and development of new explosion-proof shields. Interested friends can move to the journal “Nature Materials” to view the full text.