Imagine if there were a substance that was truly strong enough to withstand the force of a bullet, to protect from this imminent danger that is plaguing our society today. Fortunately enough, this is becoming a reality. You may be wondering what on this green Earth could possibly be strong enough to withstand a bullet, and protect us even further than that. The answer lies within the use of graphene-based armor. In this article, we will delve deeper into how these graphene based armor plates work, and how they can protect us from forces that were once known to be inevitably fatal. Let’s take a closer look.
So, back to the first question that we introduced, what exactly is graphene, and graphene based armor. Graphene is a substance that is made up of carbon atoms that take the form of a honeycomb pattern when they are subsequently linked together. The graphene then takes the form of a sheet. While it is still a relatively new concept, it has been found that by stacking these so called graphene sheet on top of one another, they make a stronger and impenetrable substance that is referred to as diamene. However, looks can be deceiving, as these graphene sheets are light and flexible sheets, almost similar to that of an aluminum foil sheet that we all have located somewhere in our homes — This can be dependent on the pressure that is applied to it, which can make it heavier and bulkier as it is stacked upon each other.
While studies are still being conducted on the graphene material and the power that it possesses, it has ultimately been found to have a fantastic hardness that is present — Enough to which it can withstand and repel a bullet. It has been found, however, that there are certain elements that must be present in order for this protection to take shape (literally). In studies already conducted, it was found that this hardening process between the graphene sheets was only present when two sheets were stacked one on top of the other, no more. It was also noted that these sheets have to be perfectly aligned in order to make the compact carbon atoms take shape properly to provide the protection. If any of these factors are amiss, or are not present, the graphene will not harden and become the diamene substance.
Now, when we say it has been tested and studied, we are just at the beginning. The study of this graphene material, especially as the use of a body armor, has been under the eye of scientists for quite some time, but is still a work in progress. In studies pertaining to the use of body armor, it has been shown that these graphene sheets actually work to dissipate the kinetic energy that is propelled by the bullet itself. The bullet, when hitting the sheets, actually forms a cone shape inward at the impact point, and is then repelled by the graphene to the point where it cracks outward. Although the cracking that is present after repelling the bullet is a sign of weakness in the graphene from impact, it has been shown that this material is in fact able to withstand about ten times more of the kinetic energy present than that of other materials, such as steel.
With all of this said and done, what does it all really mean for our society and for our well being? Well, we could be looking at the future of body armor and body protection as we know it. With the ability to withstand such power that a bullet possesses, we could be seeing a future where we know we can truly be protected. Now, of course, there is still much more testing that has to be conducted on the material — In fact, there has not been any sort of prototype completed when it comes to a graphene based armor that we know of thus far. However, that’s not to say that science isn’t close to a break through, in any case. Only time will tell as we continue to study and learn about the power that graphene has, and how it can protect our society and our way of life in the future as well.