Latest in Bulletproof

Image credit:

Navy researchers make bulletproof glass out of clay

1 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

The US Naval Research Laboratory announced a major breakthrough in materials science on Thursday. After decades of research and development, the NRL has created a transparent, bulletproof material that can be molded into virtually any shape. This material, known as Spinel, is made from a synthetic powdered clay that is heated and pressed under vacuum (aka sintered) into transparent sheets. "Spinel is actually a mineral, it's magnesium aluminate," Dr. Jas Sanghera, who leads the research, said in a statement. "The advantage is it's so much tougher, stronger, harder than glass. It provides better protection in more hostile environments -- so it can withstand sand and rain erosion."


Hot Press Laboratory; Bldg. 215/224; POC is Dr. Guillermo Villalobos of Code 5622. This hot press, located in Optical Sciences Code 5620, can achieve temperatures of 2000°C and pressures of up to 50 Tons.

What's really cool is that unlike most forms of commercially available bulletproof glass -- which is formed by pressing alternating layers of glass and plastic sheeting together -- Spinel doesn't block the infrared wavelength of light. That means that this stuff can protect a UAV's surveillance camera or the lens of a HEL-MD laser without hindering the device's operation. Plus, Spinel weighs just a fraction of a modern bulletproof pane. "If you replaced that [pane] with spinel, you'd reduce the weight by a factor of two or more," Sanghera continued. The NRL now plans to share the Spinel production process with the rest of the defense industry.


All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
1 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Netflix delivers 'studio-quality' sound upgrade for Android viewers

Netflix delivers 'studio-quality' sound upgrade for Android viewers

View
Google mobile search redesign focuses on results, not frills

Google mobile search redesign focuses on results, not frills

View
Sony may resurrect the Xperia Compact line for small phone fans

Sony may resurrect the Xperia Compact line for small phone fans

View
Facebook inexplicably logs out iPhone users

Facebook inexplicably logs out iPhone users

View
Pixar's 'Soul' was so popular on streaming that it beat 'The Office'

Pixar's 'Soul' was so popular on streaming that it beat 'The Office'

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr