Scientists have developed a way to make T-shirt fabric reinforced with boron carbide, which is the same material used to strengthen military tanks. Boron carbide has a hardness just short of diamonds. Imagine that strength in a regular lightweight shirt!
To turn cotton bulletproof, researchers from the University of South Carolina and their collaborators from China and Switzerland dipped sections of regular T-shirts (Fig 1a) in a special mix of nickel and borate. After allowing the cotton to absorb the mix for 2 hours (Fig 1b), the textile was dried quickly in an oven and cured at a high temperature for 3 hours. Once ready, the pieces of cotton were placed in a furnace and headed at 1160°C for 4 hours while continuously aerated with argon. Finally, the resulting fabric pieces (Fig 1c) were cooled and analyzed using electron microscopes and a barrage of strength tests.
Continue reading… “The Newest in Bulletproof Tech: T-Shirts”