At the moment, for covering military equipment used heavy steel armor, which, though provides good protection, but significantly reduces the maneuverability of the machines. The solution to this problem for several years is a group of scientists from the University of North Carolina — a few years ago, she has developed a composite metal foam CMF, which provides the same level of protection, but weighs twice as less. Recently, researchers have improved armor, slightly changing its structure.
The secret of the strength and lightness of the above reservation lies in the structure of the metal plate, which is full of air pockets. The researchers found that adding armor with several layers of other materials, they can achieve an even greater level of protection. So, having covered the front panel with ceramics, placing her metal foam CMF and closing the rear portion of the aluminum plate, the group created the armor against bullets 50 caliber and armor-piercing shells.
The light armor for tanks
Bullets 50 caliber with dimensions of 12.7×99 mm are usually used in machine guns and sniper rifles. Despite the fact that their speed reaches 500-885 meters per second, a new type of armor could absorb 68-78% of the kinetic energy. In some cases, on the back aluminum parts even had no dents.
In addition, the armor provides protection against bullets, it also withstands extreme temperatures, and blocks radiation. This means that in the future this material will cover not only tanks, and spaceships. Thanks to the low weight of the armor, they will be the most maneuverable and economical fuel.
The researchers intend to continue to work on improving armor and create the option that will stop the projectiles flying at speeds over 800 feet per second. In particular, they want to optimize the adhesion and the thickness of all three layers of armor to become even lighter and stronger.
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