Polyurethanes: The ultimate bulletproof vest?

It may sound like something from the Matrix, but it’s true: polyurethanes can create the ultimate bullet proof material!

OK, bulletproof material is not exactly a new idea. In fact, it has existed since the days of the Second World War, when it was widely used in the shell of armoured vehicles. But traditional materials used are normally too heavy and cumbersome; this is where new nanotechnology using polyurethane material swoops in to save the day!

The super light but highly impervious design of polyurethane composite could potentially be applied to a huge array of areas: think ultra-light and thin car windshields, protective body armour, jet engine turbine blades, cladding to protect spacecraft or satellites from micrometeorites of space junk… The list could go on and on! There’s no stopping the possibilities to make lighter, more durable and safer materials!

So how does it work? Well the polyurethane composite material dissipates the strain of sudden impact. Essentially, the innovative, new material becomes liquid around the entry point of the impact object, for example a bullet, before it solidifies and resumes its original shape. So imagine this: the material does not only stop a bullet but also seals the entry way without cracking or damaging the material!

Research is still at an early stage but the team of researchers involved in the project eventually hope their findings will be applied to future generations of design technology, so watch this space!

There you have it; another example of the ever evolving versatility and evolution of applications of polyurethanes!

For the science nerds out there, watch this video from the researchers to learn more!
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