Researchers at Harvard have developed a new kind of synthetic fiber that combines the best properties of Kevlar and Twaron. This so far unnamed material has the same resistance to firearm penetration as Kevlar, but is 20 times more heat resistant than Twaron. But the most important thing is that all these properties are implemented in one layer of material, as opposed to modern multi-layer protection.
From the point of view of materials science, resistance to mechanical stress and resistance to heating impose diametrically opposite requirements on the structure of the material. In the first case, for the redistribution of the kinetic energy of the impact, it is necessary to have a rigid material with a dense structure. In the second case, the main condition for heat removal is the presence of large pores in the material.
How to make a material both dense and porous? The technology used by the scientists is called "submersible rotating jet spinning" - a centrifuge spins and pushes a liquid polymer through a very narrow nozzle, which enters the liquid, where it solidifies in the form of long highly ordered filaments, the thickness of which is measured in nanometers. Taken together, such filaments form a web with many pores in a dense base lattice.
A pilot plant for the production of a new material creates sheets of about 10 by 30 cm in 10 minutes, but its modernization potential is much higher. The resulting material will certainly be useful in the manufacture of protective equipment for firefighters, rescuers, military and astronauts.
The gelatinous astronaut melts in the fire of a burner, but is protected by new material