Bulletproof clothing from corn

Cornstarch solution can be a potential candidate for next-generation bulletproof clothing and impact materials. Research in Professor Eric Brown´s laboratory at Yale University has shown a unique property of cornstarch-water mixture that responds to impacts well.

Cornstarch solution can be a potential candidate for next-generation bulletproof clothing and impact materials. Research in Professor Eric Brown´s laboratory at Yale University has shown a unique property of cornstarch-water mixture that responds to impacts well. Upon impact, it cracks resembling solids and then it returns to fluid state. This phenomenon is understood as ´shear thickening´.

Shear thickening fluids have been researched over a number of years for its impact resistance properties. However, Yale Group is using a biomaterial and has observed this phenomenon.

Eric Brown of the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale, has summed up the material´s advantage as ´Crack a helmet; you have to get a new one. But it was to be made from self-healing material?´

The research is yet to fully explain how upon impact, the material behaves like a solid and quickly returns to the fluid state. The answer hopefully will lead to the development of environmentally friendly high impact resistant materials such as bulletproof vests.

By Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA.

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