General, Research, Technology

Scientists have printed bulletproof material on a 3D printer

In the scientific world there are so-called"Theoretically possible materials." These are substances that can be created in theory and they do not contradict any laws. At the same time, for one reason or another, creating them at this stage is impossible. However, exploring the potential of such materials, you can create something new. This happened to the scientists at Rice University, who created a very strong structure with very high braking power on a 3D printer.

3D printers allow you to create unique materials

During their trials, researchersprinted cube of lattice polymers, which is dotted with holes. When tested, it turned out to be almost as hard as diamond, and is capable of stopping bullets with impressive efficiency. We regularly write about creating new unique materials on our website. So sign up to stay informed.

Starting point for this pilotA material is a substance known as tubulan. First invented in 1993, tubulans are complex structures of cross-linked carbon nanotubes, which may have, according to calculations, incredible strength, but an effective method of their production has so far eluded scientists. However, the advent of 3D printing opens up some interesting possibilities.

There are many theoretically possible systems thatpeople cannot recreate, ”says lead author Seyed Mohammad Sajadi. But with the development of 3D printing, we are getting closer to taking advantage of the previously predicted mechanical properties and bring to life unknown materials.

Rice University engineers usedthe theory of tubulans for creating various types of microscopic blocks using computer simulation, and then for creating 3D-printed polymer versions to see how they work. The capabilities of the newly created lattice structures have been tested in a number of tests.

See also: How Big Data Helps Discover New Properties of Conventional Materials

The experts created 2 cubes - one on a newtechnologies based on microscopic blocks, and the other was the same material, but made entirely from this polymer without additional improvements. The test results were impressive: a cube with a lattice structure stopped a bullet flying at a speed of 5.8 km per second ten times more efficient than a regular cube of the same size.

The bullet stuck in the second layer of this design. - explained Seyyed Mohammed Sajadi. - And the whole block was covered with cracks.

Comparison of two cubes created from the same material, but having a different structure

The team also put material under in the laboratory, and he again showed impressive strength. The study was published in the journal Small, and a number of experiments on new material, scientists posted on the Internet to demonstrate the technology. You can see the results on the video, available below.

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Instead of cracking under load,tubular blocks tended to collapse on their own and absorb pressure. According to scientists, the size of the structures is limited only by the capabilities of a 3D printer, and different versions of the material made of metal, ceramics and polymers can have different properties. The team is working to further optimize the project, including for its application in the field of construction of facilities, the creation of durable objects and for the aerospace industry.