Featured image of Nanotube Plastic 3D Prints Can Stop Bullets
All3DP is an editorially independent publication. Editorial content, on principle, can not be bought or influenced. To keep All3DP free and independent, we finance ourselves through advertising and affiliate revenues. When you purchase using a shopping link on our site we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
Nearly as Hard as Diamonds

Nanotube Plastic 3D Prints Can Stop Bullets

Picture of All3DP
by All3DP
Nov 21, 2019
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Students of Rice University have 3D printed ultra-hard objects from normal plastic materials. The results are lightweight, load-bearing... and even bulletproof.

The Brown School of Engineering at Rice University 3D printed objects based on tubulanes. The resulting block of polymer structures filled with air pockets offers ballistic stopping capabilities that are 10 times better than a solid block of the same plastic.

First predicted in 1993 and still mostly theoretical, tubulanes are structures of crosslinked carbon nanotubes.

Using computer simulations, the research team at Rice was able to print tubulane blocks as macroscale polymers.

When shot the porous lattice blocks stopped the bullet in the second layer of the structure and sustained no further damage thanks to their lamellar deformation mechanism. In comparison, the solid blocks of identical material cracked throughout.

Another advantage of this new material is its compressibility. When crushed, the tubulane blocks collapse in on themselves without cracking under the pressure. This characteristic lends itself to many applications, including construction, automotive, aerospace.

The source of this material’s strength is its symmetrical topology which is completely scalable. Simply by using complex geometries it is possible to print plastic nearly as hard as diamond.

(Source: Rice University)

License: The text of "Nanotube Plastic 3D Prints Can Stop Bullets" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Subscribe to updates from All3DP

You are subscribed to updates from All3DP

You can’t subscribe to updates from All3DP. Learn more… Subscribe

You can’t subscribe to updates from All3DP. Learn more…

Advertisement
Recommended for you
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement