Zetix Blast Resistant Fabric Has Other Uses

Zetix is a remarkable fabric from Auxetix Ltd; it can resist multiple bomb blasts without tearing. It is a member of a class of fabrics called auxetics that actually become thicker when stretched out.


(Principle of auxetics demonstrated)

The idea that a material could become thicker when stretched out is contrary to our usual experience with objects that stretch. The illustration show above explains how it works. For example, a plain bungee cord will indeed get thinner when stretched. However, if you entwine it with a stiffer cord, and then stretch out the two together, the stiffer white-colored cord becomes taut, while the bungee cord wraps around it. The pair of cords are thicker. Finally, bundle a group of these pairs together; now you've got an auxetic structure.

Now, imagine a fabric that uses this same principle at a much smaller level; when you stretch the fabric, it actually thickens up.


(Comparison of Zetix with conventional blast-proof materials)

When this principle is applied to protective fabrics like those shown below, the results are dramatic. Most blast-resistant materials fail when exposed to the energy of a explosive blast. However, the Zetix material thickens to resist the blast, and then returns to its earlier state.

Besides giving hope to would-be superheroes everywhere for a super-suit (see Skiers Get 'Impact Suits' and Scientific Proof For Superhero Tights for related news), this kind of material has a surprising number of applications:

  • Seat Belts
    In an accident, the passenger is usually thrown forwards, and if the deceleration is particularly dramatic, the forces involved can be enormous. In attempting to restrain this movement, the seat belt gets stretched and, much like an elastic band being pulled, becomes narrower. This is exactly the opposite of the behaviour that you want at such a critical time, for, in getting narrower, it concentrates all the forces into a much smaller area.
  • Construction - Concrete Reinforcement
    Conventional reinforcements that are used in concrete structures suffer from the fact that as they are loaded in tension, they get thinner. This causes a de-bonding effect, where the reinforcing rod pulls away from the surrounding concrete.
  • Health - Dental Floss
    Auxetic dental floss offers several key benefits, including the ability to expand to fit the widely differing gaps between human teeth and the ability to deliver chemotherapeutics, fluorides or flavours directly to the gum line.
  • Manufacturing - Filtration
    When a conventional net-like material is stretched, the holes close up, whereas in an auxetic version the holes open up. This can be exploited to create a range of objects where controlling the hole size may be important. This could be particularly significant in the industrial filtration market.
  • Aerospace - Smart Sensors
    Smart sensors can be used in a variety of composite structures as in-situ monitoring devices. One of the problems with conventional structures is that when they experience loads or shocks that may have weakened or damaged them, there is rarely any satisfactory method of assessing their integrity. The novel sensors being developed at Auxetix provide much higher signal resolution whilst providing a range of other benefits at the same time.

Materials science is becoming more futuristic every day:

Via Zetix Blast-Proof Fabric; lots of good information at the Auxetix website. Also, find more details about auxetics materials.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/7/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Material ")

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme. - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'- J.G. Ballard, 1962.

3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.

Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive...' - Doc Smith, 1934.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?''

The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...'

Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.

Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.

Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.'

Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...'

Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Everyone loves bees.

EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.

Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...'

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...'

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.'

Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.