For the first time, U.S. Air Force Academy 1st Grade Cadet Haley Weir began thinking about creating a heavy-duty bulletproof material in chemistry class in 2014. Then the class was asked to combine three materials that could withstand a flying bullet.
In particular, the students were offered a combination of epoxy resin, Kevlar and carbon fiber - materials that each individually acquire rigidity when hit by a bullet, but, once together, for some reason collapsed.
This prompted Haley to try alternative combinations of materials with greater strength. One of the leading specialists of the academy in chemistry, Professor Ryan Burke, suggested that instead of epoxy resin, which hardens during the drying process, she should create a layer of the so-called Newtonian fluid, which changes the viscosity depending on the magnitude of the force acting on it. This means that the liquid retains its viscosity exactly until the moment when a bullet strikes it.
The idea of using a layer of fluid, Kevlar and carbon fiber as bulletproof materials is not new, however no one has combined them together before. As a result of numerous experiments, it was possible to "collect" the optimal version with maximum strength. The material was fired from 9mm 40 Smith & Wesson and 10.9mm 44 Magnum. As a result, in the first case, the bullet got stuck only in the last layer, and the larger 44 Magnum bullet did not pass even the first layer.
The creators of the new ultra-strong material hope that it will soon become the basis for new body armor, armored vehicles, protective bulletproof and anti-fragmentation tents.