How does liquid armour stop bullets?
While Kevlar armour offers good stopping power against standard rounds, the material is both stiff and heavy, making it hot and uncomfortable to wear – especially considering that over 30 layers of it are used in an average suit! It is battle proven at stopping bullets, but it often does so at the expense of its own structural integrity, warping the armour so it’s unusable in the future.
Liquid armour goes a long way to tackling these issues by splicing traditional Kevlar layers with a shear-thickening fluid. The fluid acts as an impact energy displacement layer, hardening upon a bullet’s impact and spreading its force out over a larger area than if it were just Kevlar. The fluid turns solid much in the same way that custard does when heated, starting off with a runny consistency, only to become thicker and more dense as it is warmed up.
The liquid’s chemical composition, however – which remains top secret – catalysed by the intense heat of the bullet, allows the hardening process to take place instantaneously. Critically, once the round has been stopped by the armour, the liquid
layer returns to its fluid state, reducing warping and therefore improving the longevity of the kit.
In addition to providing superior impact resistance, due to the fewer Kevlar layers needed, the overall thickness of the liquid armour is reduced by nearly half. As a result, it’s considerably more comfortable to wear than standard all-Kevlar suits.