Imagine a sophisticated body armor that is tough because it is flexible, a shield that is mostly water but strong enough to prevent mechanical intrusion.
Now imagine that this armor is not only strong, but also soft and stretchy, so that the wearer can effortlessly move his body parts, whether he is swimming in the water, running across the ground, or storming at him.
This description may sound like a suit worn by a fictional hero in the DC Comics franchise, but it actually describes parts of a Hummers exoskeleton.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Believe in the Soft Membrane Covering the animal's joints and abdomen – a material as hard as the industrial rubber used to make car tires and garden hoses ̵
The results of the researchers appeared in a recent issue of the journal Acta Materialia .
"We think this work could motivate flexible armament design," Ming Guo, th The d & # 39; Arbeloff Assistant for Professional Development in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT told MIT News that Lobster membrane has helped it to survive on Earth for over 100 million years.
If you could make armor from such materials, you could move your joints freely, and you would feel better. "
Ballistic vests – commonly referred to as" body armor "- are widely used According to the National Institute of Justice, thousands of officers have been rescued from gun and rifle ammunition, but the West is also challenged.
Devlin of Washington Post Barrett reported in 2017 that kevlar – a densely woven fiberboard designed to detain bullets from handguns – has an expiration date and usually lasts no more than five years.
Body armor may be poor, especially for female officers who sometimes need something NIJ adaptation.
Some studies have shown that body armor can also affect the wearer's perception and focus while increasing the physiological costs that are required to perform a task during the service According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information offers this protection and increased risk.
MIT researchers believe that lobsters could provide a solution to the problem that plagues most modern body armor: the more mobility an armor provides, the less it protects the wearer's body.
Guo told MIT News that the idea for the development of lobster-inspired body protectors came when he ate one of them, noting that the transparent membrane on the animal's stomach was hard to chew. In contrast to the bone-like outer skin of the crustacean, the softer tissues of the animal remained a mystery,
. As soon as researchers began to dissect these tissues, they made a startling discovery. Significant cuts in the membrane did not affect the elasticity of the material.
The researchers found that the elasticity and strength is due to the unique structure of the membrane, which contains tens of thousands of layers that compare it to plywood. The fibers in these layers help the material deplete energy when under stress, making it "damage tolerant," the researchers write.
"The knowledge learned from the soft membrane of natural lobsters makes it easier to produce synthetically soft, yet strong and tough materials for reliable use in extreme mechanical conditions, including flexible armor that provides complete body protection can, without compromising limb mobility, "added the study.
Guo told MIT News that the material could mimic the strength and flexibility of lobster membranes and could also be used in soft robotics and tissue engineering.
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