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posted Mar 10, 2017, 7:46 AM by PHS Warrior Beat

By: DeVon Hayes

    A North Carolina State University professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering named Afsaneh Rabiei led a team in creating a special type of foam that not only stops bullets, it destroys them completely.

    This composite metal foam is made by “bubbling gas through molten metal to form a frothy mixture which then sets as a lightweight matrix. This leaves a material that offers a lighter alternative to conventional metals, while still maintaining a comparable strength.”

    A shield was made to see if the composite metal foam could be used as lightweight armor. The shield that was made “was comprised of boron carbide ceramics as the strike face, with composite metal foam (CMF) as the bullet kinetic energy absorber layer and Kevlar panels as backplates. To test its durability, Rabiei and her team took aim with a 7.62 x 63 mm M2 armor-piercing projectile, which was fired in line with the standard testing procedures established by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).”

    The foam absorbed so much of the foams kinetic energy, that “the indentation on the target was less than a third of an inch (8mm, to be exact).” To put into perspective how strong this foam is, Rabiei says, “"We could stop the bullet at a total thickness of less than an inch, while the indentation on the back was less than 8 mm," Rabiei says. "To put that in context, the NIJ standard allows up to 44 mm (1.73 in) indentation in the back of an armor." This means that the foam is “80 percent better than the maximum standard.”

    This armor also has another useful feature, as it can “block X-rays, various forms of gamma rays and neutron radiation, giving it potential as a lightweight alternative to the bulky radiation shielding currently available.”

    This composite metal foam seems to have a lot of uses, and will most likely have a lot more in the near future.




Edited by:CA
Uploaded: 3/9/2017