July 26, 2003

Shirts That Stop Bullets

Earlier this week we saw the introduction of the world's smallest electric rotor. Now here's news of the production of a nano-fiber that may someday play a role in outfitting nanotechnology-equipped super-soldiers.

Researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas have come up with a new fiber four times tougher than spider silk or twenty times more than steel. And what is the key ingredient? ScienCentral News has the answer: carbon nanotubes.

The researchers think that this fiber, which is easy to sew, could be integrated into lightweight military uniforms, protecting soldiers and giving them electronic connections. And they did some early experiments. Here is an image of the fiber woven into a fabric (Credit: Univ. of Texas at Dallas).

But as the author points out, there is one major obstacle, price. Try to buy carbon nanotubes online from Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc. and you'll see prices ranging from $500 to $900 per gram.

I don't know. Even with a healthy military budget, I'd say that price is going to have to come down.

Via Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends

Posted by Phil at July 26, 2003 07:05 AM | TrackBack