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Scientists Turn T-Shirts Into Body Armor

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the will-stick-with-the-regular-kind-for-now dept.

The Military 213

separsons writes "Scientists at the University of South Carolina recently transformed ordinary T-shirts into bulletproof armor. By splicing cotton with boron, the third hardest material on the planet, scientists created a shirt that was super elastic but also strong enough to deflect bullets. Xiaodong Li, lead researcher on the project, says the same tech may eventually be used to create lightweight, fuel-efficient cars and aircrafts."

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213 comments

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Unforeseen consequences (4, Funny)

treeves (963993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803668)

What happens if I'm wearing one of these tee-shirts when my nipples explode with delight?

Re:Unforeseen consequences (0)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803736)

The explosion gets contained?

Re:Unforeseen consequences (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804786)

Works with my underpants all tha time.

Multipass! (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803738)

If you're wearing the fifth element (boron), then perhaps you need to quit looking at the other fifth element (Leeloo Dallas' multipass [youtube.com] ).

Re:Unforeseen consequences (2, Funny)

munozdj (1787326) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803852)

You will not buy that tee-shirt, it is scratched.

Re:Unforeseen consequences (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804094)

Is your hovercraft full of eels?

How Many Washes? (2, Funny)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805094)

As with my stain-resistant dockers, I want to know how many washes will this effect last for

+5 T-Shirt of Nerding (5, Funny)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803674)

Brings my AC to 15!

Re:+5 T-Shirt of Nerding (1, Offtopic)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803694)

+5 funny as this is the funniest comment I've ever read on /. (:

Re:+5 T-Shirt of Nerding (4, Funny)

bacon volcano (1260566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803826)

And it's super-elastic, so no Dex penalty!

Re:+5 T-Shirt of Nerding (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31803902)

I was thinking +3 Hawaiian Shirt, but I am too late.

Re:+5 T-Shirt of Nerding (1)

anarche (1525323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804288)

i dunno, the +2 Cha from the Hawaiian might make it a relevant joke.

Re:+5 T-Shirt of Nerding (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804044)

You do know they're harvesting The Fifth Element to make these things, right??

Re:+5 T-Shirt of Nerding (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804158)

I don't think you took your dex penalty into account...

Re:+5 T-Shirt of Nerding (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804568)

It's cloth armor. Not much dexterity change, there, as opposed to banded mail or half-plate.

Re:+5 T-Shirt of Nerding (1)

Yosho (135835) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804626)

Oh, he took it into account. He's using 2nd edition AC rules, you see.

Re:+5 T-Shirt of Nerding (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805278)

They've got those now? Crap, I need to get to the auction house. WTS green linen shirt! [jinx.com]

Wait... *sniff* *sniff* ...never mind, it must be bind on equip.

How elastic? (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803682)

It isn't going to help much if the bullet has enough force to make the t-shirt penetrate you. If we're talking a 2-inch stretch, then it'll make things less messy, but no less lethal.

Re:How elastic? (1)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803716)

That's exactly what I was thinking - maybe the bullet won't kill you, but will the shirt?

Re:How elastic? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31803742)

Two inches of penetration... Sounds like a job for me!

Re:How elastic? (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805048)

twice?

Re:How elastic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31805128)

Dude, you are getting a cleaning bill. I just spit red bull everywhere.

Re:How elastic? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31803754)

Actually the elasticity of these things change with the among of force applied. When you try to punch these things hard (just like a bullet does) they seem to rigid. But when you try to handle them with less force, like try to slowly pull or push them (just like when you try to wear them), they seem to be really elastic.

So your question should be rephrased as how elastic it is, when a bullet strikes it? Is is strong enough to distribute the force of the bullet through out your torso and not cause a serious dent?

Re:How elastic? (5, Interesting)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803848)

Actually the elasticity of these things change with the among of force applied. When you try to punch these things hard (just like a bullet does) they seem to rigid. But when you try to handle them with less force, like try to slowly pull or push them (just like when you try to wear them), they seem to be really elastic.

Sounds similar to the way a cornflour and water mixture [wikipedia.org] works.

Re:How elastic? (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804322)

+1 Informative, glad someone brought this up

Re:How elastic? (0, Offtopic)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805216)

Except it is corn starch, not corn flour. So it should be +1 informative and -1 wrong. Unfortunately, there is no "factually incorrect" mod, so +5 interesting it is...

Re:How elastic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804266)

So what you're saying is...:
""The slow bullit penertates"

Re:How elastic? (5, Funny)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804362)

Actually the elasticity of these things change with the among of force applied. When you try to punch these things hard (just like a bullet does) they seem to rigid. But when you try to handle them with less force, like try to slowly pull or push them (just like when you try to wear them), they seem to be really elastic.

So your question should be rephrased as how elastic it is, when a bullet strikes it? Is is strong enough to distribute the force of the bullet through out your torso and not cause a serious dent?

Good... the slow blade penetrates the shield...

Re:How elastic? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804578)

In other words you're asking if this textile can act as a non-newtonian fluid?

We've already done that with micro glass orbs in some specialized package, just cover that with this stuff and you'd have a fairly awesome method of protection from high-speed impacts.

Re:How elastic? (1)

deep_creek (1001191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805246)

Bone-shattering force is still applied to victim/target. The shirt may become rigid, but something has to absorb the force applied. Kind of like an extreme concussion to the head i'm thinking... your skull is fine but your brain is mush. Bullets purpose still achieves goal, now just less mess.

Re:How elastic? (4, Informative)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805324)

The force applied to the target by a bullet is less than or equal to the force applied to the hand or shoulder of the shooter. If it didn't knock the shooter over, it probably won't knock you over, if the force is spread over a larger area. Newton's laws still apply...

Re:How elastic? (1)

Loomismeister (1589505) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805250)

How do you know that the material behaves in this manner?

Re:How elastic? (4, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803766)

That's exactly why bulletproof vests have metal plates in them; to help spread the energy. And ribs still get broken. That's why the hope is to make lightweight vehicles, not better bulletproof-wear.

Re:How elastic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804054)

There's no good reason that boron carbide couldn't be added to a more rigid material.

Of course, that only highlights why this could be a really interesting find. Being able to make common fiber-based or plastic-based materials freakishly strong with an additive containing no exotic elements sounds very appealing, for all the same reasons that carbon nanotubes are appealing. I wonder how carbon nanotubes and boron carbide nanowires stack up against each other.

Re:How elastic? (2, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804482)

"hope is to make lightweight vehicles"
South Africa had them for years via its many years of bush wars.
The main change is BAE is selling real tech to the world based on its new licensing deals.

Re:How elastic? (3, Interesting)

LBt1st (709520) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804910)

This would have more uses then just people getting shot at. Anyone who may take a blow from something could benefit. Like construction workers, police, perhaps animal handlers, motorcyclists.. If they make gloves there would be even more uses.

Re:How elastic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804982)

John Brunner - karat hands. (from "Stand on Zanzibar")

Re:How elastic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31805092)

Uh.. Metal is rare in ballistic body armor. Its twice the weight as ceramic plates. It has advantages (cheaper, better multi-hit protection) but dragging it around is a pretty severe disadvantage.

Quite a lot of body armor don't have trauma plates at all. Inserts of extra ballistic fabric over critical areas, for extra protection, perhaps. But the NIJ tests armor with as well as without plates and inserts. Type IIa, II, and IIIa certification is all achievable using no metal or ceramic plates. That stuff is mostly for rifle rounds.

Re:How elastic? (3, Informative)

modecx (130548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805302)

Ye old flak vests had metal. However, in my experience, no modern vests have metal plates at all. If a vest has a metal component, it is usually kept in a pouch *on the front* of the vest, where a bullet simply passes through, to be absorbed by the kevlar/aramid/textile component--offering virtually no benefit against bullets or their blunt trauma.

What it does, however, is give protection against stabbing and puncture weapons, which traditional vests alone do not protect against. Even then, the metal insert stuff is two or three generations ago--haven't seen it in ages, really. I think most of the current anti-stab products incorporate layers of lexan/acrylic, possibly as well as additional bullet resistant material.

Anyway, getting back to the point: there are a number of blunt trauma pads/products generally meant to cover the sternum area, which go in behind the vest. Addressing one other post in this thread: there is at least one such product that incorporates non-Newtonian fluids. The steel layers went away because they were too inflexible, too ineffective, and they really made you sweat--even more so than a vest already does.

just my $0.02

Re:How elastic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31803770)

unless the t-shirt is skin tight, 2inch be easily about the spare room people wear them. I'm sure if it was made to fight against bullets, the elasticity would be taken into account

Re:How elastic? (5, Informative)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803778)

I think "bulletproof t-shirts" is just a bit of verbal hyperbole from the reporter, albeit fitting in regards to the process that led to the creation of this material.

The main breakthrough of the process is that the third strongest material in the world, which was previously only accessible in a ceramic (read: brittle and crystalline) form can now be formed around templates of carbon fibers (the aforementioned, t-shirts baked to perfection).

In other articles, the main emphasis is definitely on this new stronger material being an improvement on current ballistic fibers such as Kevlar.

Popsci article:
http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-04/armored-t-shirts-contain-boron-carbide-nanowires?cpage=1 [popsci.com]

Adamantium? (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804046)

Is it stronger than adamantium?

Re:Adamantium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804526)

Everything is stronger than an imaginary (albeit awesome) metallic alloy.

Re:How elastic? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803894)

Hey, if it keeps the bullet from penetrating, it's got to be an improvement.

My question is - does it resist tasers? If so, I'd like to order one with "Go ahead, taze me, bro!"

That would be a HUGE seller for demonstrations, students in libraries, passengers at airports, etc.

Re:How elastic? (5, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804372)

    Nah, it would only increase the use of force. "The tazer didn't work, so we shot him in the head."

    Bullet proof vests are only good if the bullet his your chest. It doesn't help in other areas.

    In reality, "bullet proof" materials are only good at spreading the energy out. They're worthless against more focused forces. It may stop a 9mm (blunt tip), but it won't stop a .223 (sharp tip), and probably won't do much against the electrodes of a tazer, or a knife. That's why they make rifle plating to go into kevlar vests. They're heavy, but they'll help protect against more serious rounds. With serious rounds (like a .50 BMG), you can't carry enough armor to help you, and even if you did, it can only displace the energy so far. If it was able to prevent the round from piercing the armor, you'd simply be crushed by the force.

    Best advice for not getting killed by bullets? Don't get yourself on the wrong end of a firearm. I've managed to be safe wearing regular t-shirts as protection for over 30 years, because I've never put myself in the way of a weapon. :)

Re:How elastic? (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804478)

Next: Reactive Armour T-Shirt!!! I'll be RICH!!! (or dead).

Re:How elastic? (1)

PSandusky (740962) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804524)

    Nah, it would only increase the use of force. "The tazer didn't work, so we shot him in the head."

    Bullet proof vests are only good if the bullet his your chest. It doesn't help in other areas.

    In reality, "bullet proof" materials are only good at spreading the energy out. They're worthless against more focused forces. It may stop a 9mm (blunt tip), but it won't stop a .223 (sharp tip), and probably won't do much against the electrodes of a tazer, or a knife. That's why they make rifle plating to go into kevlar vests. They're heavy, but they'll help protect against more serious rounds. With serious rounds (like a .50 BMG), you can't carry enough armor to help you, and even if you did, it can only displace the energy so far. If it was able to prevent the round from piercing the armor, you'd simply be crushed by the force.

    Best advice for not getting killed by bullets? Don't get yourself on the wrong end of a firearm. I've managed to be safe wearing regular t-shirts as protection for over 30 years, because I've never put myself in the way of a weapon. :)

Heh. Amen. Great advice.

IIRC, a lot of those vests had (still have?) another pronounced flaw -- the axillary region wasn't protected. Oh, the chest and back (and some of the sides) were covered, but the armholes themselves left a vulnerable space under each arm. The protective t-shirts might not be so hot with heavier rounds, but they'd be something there where previously there wasn't much at all.

After, of course, someone ends up on the wrong end of the firearm!

Re:How elastic? (1)

skaet (841938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804916)

I've managed to be safe wearing regular t-shirts as protection for over 30 years, because I've never put myself in the way of a weapon.

This may hold more weight if you elaborated on your line of work or hobbies. If nothing in your ordinary routine involves firearms then I could claim this also.

I'm a 26 year old student studying graphic design and multimedia development with no real hobbies outside video gaming. Other than shooting hares with an air rifle on Dad's farm I've had little contact with real firearms, and I've manage to be safe wearing regular t-shirts as protection for almost 30 years!

Re:How elastic? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804822)

My question is - does it resist tasers?

No, but gold lame and tinfoil hats do.

Re:How elastic? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804944)

My question is - does it resist tasers?

No, but gold lame and tinfoil hats do.

I said "Tasers", not "Lasers". If you wanted to resist lasers, sure, enough "gold lame and tinfoil hats" would work - but you'd look like a nerd drag queen strutting her stuff in the Castro district.

Re:How elastic? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805110)

Hopefully one would look like a short to the taser. If you have some chain mail in the junkpile, that would short it out too.

Check eBay for mithril.

Re:How elastic? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805156)

...does it resist tasers?

Just weave in conductive fiber..

Re:How elastic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31803904)

The biggest plus for a piece of cloth like this is that if you are shot the bullet will not fragment once its inside you. While getting a hole put in you is bad. Getting a hole and then shredded internal organs is even worse.

Re:How elastic? (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804238)

Actually it is likely to be worse because instead of the bullet penetrating through (which happens most of the time) all the kinetic energy will be dumped into you and the shockwave will probably shatter blood vessels and organs anyway. Pistol rounds don't normally shatter, and rifle rounds have way too much KE for this to be a good idea.

Re:How elastic? (0, Offtopic)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803924)

In Soviet Russia, t-shirt gets inside of you.

Obesity (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804224)

Considering how obese we are getting in the West these days 2-inches of penetration probably wouldn't pierce the fat layer. Hah, and people say obesity is a problem!

Re:How elastic? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804250)

Elasticity is actually the important bit - the energy of impact goes into deforming the material instead of just being transmitted to what is underneath.
Remember that it doesn't have to be thin and skin tight. Just being lighter than a big pile of Kevlar is a huge bonus. Some sort of padding or layers of air just to give the stuff room to deform before it hits skin and bone should work.

Re:How elastic? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804270)

    This is Slashdot you're writing on. The median group here can sustain a 2 inch penetration and barely bleed. It'll only bruise their fat.

    The question is, what kind of force can it take? I know body armor is rated for various forces. Not much is going to stop a 50cal BMG, but I'm sure it would do a good job on a .22 shot from 100 feet. Then again, a cheap leather jacket would do the same thing. :)

    [ducking]

Re:How elastic? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804602)

"but I'm sure it would do a good job on a .22 shot from 100 feet. Then again, a cheap leather jacket would do the same thing."

Shit, since LR .22 are so hard to find with a steel core nowdays, you can just stop it by flexing the muscle you have in your body. Look like you went paintballing.

Re:How elastic? (3, Interesting)

Terminal Saint (668751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804706)

Penetration obviously isn't ideal, but having the bullet contained by the shirt would still be a preferable outcome to outright penetration. One of the reasons the Mongols wore silk armor was that when struck by an arrow, the arrow would often fail to pierce the silk. This made removing arrows much easier and cleaner, which meant less downtime for wounded fighters.

Re:How elastic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804810)

Wait a minute! Don't the Mormons just bless a tshirt and it protects you from evil? I mean you gotta wear it in the shower and everywhere till it rots off you and go get a new one, but isn't this in the same 'hood as what we're talkin?

My parents visited University of South Carolina (5, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803728)

My parents visited the University of South Carolina and all I got was this stupid t-shirt.

Nobody doesn't like... (4, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803746)

... Molten Boron!

Blankman (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31803750)

Blankman is real!

For those of you who don't understand the reference:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109288/

Re:Blankman (1)

anarche (1525323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804306)

don't forget Other Guy!

No they haven't ! (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803788)

How does an "advancement" [popsci.com] turn into a "finished product"?

From the (5 day old) pop-sci article:

Outside experts have deemed the approach promising, if not yet ready to replace Kevlar or conventional bulletproof materials. But the boron-carbide nanowires already show some material improvement over more brittle boron-carbide composites.

Even if a super tough but flexible fabric were made, then they would still have to make it rigid upon impact.

Don't Tase me bro... (1)

fusionstein (1163067) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803796)

...but you can go ahead and shoot me with you 9mm!

Re:Don't Tase me bro... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31803906)

If it stops a 9mm shell, it'll stop the little barbed prongs that a taser shoots. But they might catch in the clothing anyway, so you might still get shocked. Unless this stuff is conductive enough to short it out, or insulating enough to protect you.

Re:Don't Tase me bro... (5, Informative)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803948)

If it stops a 9mm shell, it'll stop the little barbed prongs that a taser shoots. But they might catch in the clothing anyway, so you might still get shocked. Unless this stuff is conductive enough to short it out, or insulating enough to protect you.

No, it doesn't work that way. A "bulletproof" vest is relatively easy to get through with a sharp blade - most bullet resistant materials will use lots of strong fibres to tangle the bullet up in on it's way through, whereas a sharp knife (or a pointed barb that's not spinning) will penetrate relatively easily.

Re:Don't Tase me bro... (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804234)

If it stops a 9mm shell, it'll stop the little barbed prongs that a taser shoots. But they might catch in the clothing anyway, so you might still get shocked. Unless this stuff is conductive enough to short it out, or insulating enough to protect you.

No, it doesn't work that way. A "bulletproof" vest is relatively easy to get through with a sharp blade - most bullet resistant materials will use lots of strong fibres to tangle the bullet up in on it's way through, whereas a sharp knife (or a pointed barb that's not spinning) will penetrate relatively easily.

Ok, but in the future, just say "The slow blade penetrates the shield."

Re:Don't Tase me bro... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804624)

This material is metallic and quite conductive, the taser would likely be useless as it shorts out through the conductive material and thus not deliver as heavy a jolt to you.

I tested that with an aluminium-lined t-shirt. I barely felt the buzz.

This shirt brought to you by... (2, Funny)

CompressedAir (682597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803800)

Molten Boron!

Not bulletproof. (4, Informative)

Ricken (797341) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803834)

Yet TFA says nothing about this armor being bullet-proof, as this slashdot article clearly states.

Only that “We should be able to fabricate much tougher body armors using this new technique. It could even be used to produce lightweight, fuel-efficient cars and aircrafts.”

boron is toxic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31803910)

this is a non-starter as a t-shirt

Re:boron is toxic (3, Informative)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803996)

No, it isn't [wikipedia.org]
Elemental boron and borates are non-toxic to humans and animals (approximately similar to table salt). The LD50 (dose at which there is 50% mortality) for animals is about 6 g per kg of body weight. Substances with LD50 above 2 g are considered non-toxic.

Re:boron is toxic (0, Redundant)

karlwilson (1124799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804042)

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSHHHHH Man... that joke flew a mile over your head.

Re:boron is toxic (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804758)

Apparently not to me, grand parent and 2 mods. Jokes on great grand parent for making a lame joke no one gets.

Re:boron is toxic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31805332)

my bad. i had it confused with beryllium.

boron salts are currently used for washing clothes in :D

sorry

They lied to me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804052)

They had told me it was made out of Chuck Norris' hairs!

The plural of aircraft... (2, Informative)

reverendbeer (1496637) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804090)

...is aircraft.

Lead researcher (3, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804176)

Xiaodong Li, lead researcher on the project...

They still make bullets out of lead?

Re:Lead researcher (1)

BryanL (93656) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804342)

I think the implication of this is that the t-shirt will only stop lead bullets.

This is disturbing (1)

madfilipino (557839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804186)

I find it disturbing that the "aircraft of the future" will be made of a white tube sock. Worse, it'll have holes in the sock for doors and windows.

The second hardest known substance (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804208)

Is my wife's pot roast. If I can ever figure out how she converts an entire roast into carbon nanotubes we're gonna be rich!

Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804210)

TFA:

Unlike the brittle boron carbide currently in use, the synthesized fibers (“nanowires”) are super-elastic. Yet they maintain the same strength and stiffness of their predecessors.

So are they elastic or stiff?

Mithril (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804256)

They've invented mithril!

So you actually wished for a t-shirt? (2, Informative)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804574)

Any nethack player knows how important a piece of armor the t-shirt is.

Blessed scrolls of enchant armor for the win.

Silk was used in a simlar way (3, Informative)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804588)

The Huns wore silk to protect themselves in battle. There were no bullets back then, just arrows and blades. While the arrows could still penetrate the flesh, they often did not cut through the silk which made it easier to remove the arrows and stem the bleeding. BTW, like tee-shirts, silk is imprintable -- "We're on the run, we're lotta fun, we are the Huns!"

Re:Silk was used in a simlar way (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804902)

Love the silk shirt, it looks faaaaablous hun! -- Atilla the Interior Decorator

Possible armor application (1)

urusan (1755332) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804596)

It seems to me that this will make powered armor far more viable. It's lightweight and strong and would make an excellent armor when designed into a larger system. Also, since it can be made flexible it can cover areas that require flexibility, like joints.

Similarly, it might be useful for making improved space suits.

Quesion: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804632)

"By splicing cotton with boron, the third hardest material on the planet..."

#1 is my cock. What's #2?

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804748)

It will only feel like I was just hit with a sledge hammer where the bullet hits. Which will be incapacitatingly painful for a long time, but will normally be survivable.

Light armor right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804792)

If the armor is classified as light, that means wizards and other spellcasters of the world rejoice. How much AC does this give me?

Screw t-shirts, I see more immediate applications. (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804826)

Does this mean you could construct Batman's body armor in reality? A full-body flexible armor suit like one of those cow-hide things some motorcyclists wear? That would be nice, to say the least. At the moment you're limited to aramid-weave clothing, this takes knives but doesn't stop bullets or blunt force.

Mithril? (1)

bigdonthedj (1437541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805028)

Could it be so? ----------------- keepin' it simple

Aircrafts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31805088)

The plural of aircraft is aircraft.

It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31805182)

I've been waiting for technology to provide me with my flying T-shirt car.

Goes with the techno-trousers.

Borons (3, Informative)

Prikolist (1260608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805266)

Ugh the writers of the article (and, consequently, the slashdot user) wrote a badly worded description. I was surprised as I never heard of any particularly strong allotrope of boron. If you actually read the whole thing, it's boron nanowires that give the strength. Key word: nanowires. Researchers used boron, but there are plenty of different materials to make nanowires out of. And it is the particular properties resulting from reinforcing materials with nanowires that give the 'bulletproof' strength.

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