A revolutionary new materials known as Composite Steel Foam, or CMF, can pulverize enemy rounds and will even be used as an armor to guard tanks and different fight autos.
Consider it or not, this breakthrough foam might present better safety than conventional armor metal plates.
It is usually far lighter than present armor. How a lot lighter? This foam has the potential to dramatically cut back the armor weight on fight autos by about 65 %.
This can be a discovery with potential to revolutionize future tanks and armored autos.
Along with defending in opposition to direct hits by highly effective enemy weapons, the surprise foam might also ship higher safety from explosion blast waves, lethal “cookoffs” and even radiation.
Scientists at North Carolina State College and the U.S. Military’s Aviation Utilized Know-how Directorate have been working collectively on this outstanding foam.
What precisely is it?
Principally, it’s foam made out of steel — therefore “steel foam.”
Like shaving foam or sea foam, CMF has holes that assist make the fabric spongelike. This Swiss cheeselike construction additionally helps to make CMF lighter than regular steel.
Let’s say a tank lined on this foam armor will get a direct hit by one of many enemy’s tank principal weapons. When it strikes the CMF, the froth’s hole spheres ‒ the “holes” ‒ take up a number of the strike’s power and assist resist injury from the hit.
Armor piercing rounds versus the froth
Armor piercing rounds are a critical risk — and a rising risk, as they’ve develop into extra extensively utilized by enemies of the USA. These rounds are designed to tear by means of heavy armor like it’s aluminum soup can for optimum destruction.
It might appear exhausting to consider, however exams proceed to show that this foam not solely stops rounds, however it might probably smash the would-be armor piercing rounds into smithereens.
In a single take a look at, one inch of this outstanding foam confronted off in opposition to an M2 .30 caliber armor piercing bullet. The bullet travels with 2,780 foot-pounds of power and when it makes contact with the froth, that armor piercing spherical is Hulk-smashed by the froth.
Explosions versus the froth
The CMF can also be remarkably good at deflecting blast waves.
Improvised explosive gadgets (IEDs) have sadly develop into a merciless, crude, commonplace weapon for enemies of the USA. The rapid blast and shrapnel can inflict devastating injury to personnel and autos. Much less well-known, these bombs additionally pose one other risk that’s not seen.
The explosions yield shock waves and these invisible waves of power can affect the mind. These waves could cause hurt and play a task in traumatic mind damage.
Exams have proven this foam might also present higher safety for warfighters inside a car from these shockwaves.
If a tank is rolling by means of a conflict zone and an IED goes off close by, the froth armor construction helps take up the blast, higher defending the warfighters inside.
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Warmth versus foam
Exams have proven the froth can present enhanced safety from warmth. When put to the warmth problem, warmth took twice as lengthy to move by means of the CMF because it did with typical chrome steel.
The foamy holes within the materials additionally play a task in slowing warmth transmission.
In apply, this sluggish warmth transmission high quality could possibly be important to avoid wasting lives. If, for instance, warmth from a close-by explosion is sufficient to trigger sympathetic detonation of a tank’s unfired ammo, then the froth might crucially decelerate the journey of this warmth.
These “cookoffs” are very critical and lethal. Even seconds might be paramount in giving the warfighters time to go away the tank earlier than it’s too late.
Much less weight, extra safety
Tanks are beasts. The M1 Abrams Predominant Battle Tank, for instance, weighs in at greater than 60 metric tons, so each pound issues.
Rolled homogeneous armor metal plate is continuously used for tanks and armored autos. The brand new foam has potential to offer enhanced safety — 3 times lighter than the present armor strategy.
Right here’s a sensible instance: A future car might theoretically be kitted out with simply four tons of CMF, slightly than 12 tons of the standard armor.
This implies roughly the identical safety, however with armor that’s eight tons lighter.
Think about what an affect lighter weight might have on future fight autos. This outstanding foam would then be offering yet one more complete set of benefits, from quicker speeds by means of to extra maneuverabilty and agility.
The Military is contemplating subsequent gen replacements for the M1 Abrams principal battle tank and M2 Bradley infantry preventing car, each of which would require cutting-edge, groundbreaking armor.