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Unique Caterpillar Armor Could Lead To Advancements in Body Armor Durability
By Howard Longwood – Body Armor Expert
Body armor used by the military could undergo a world of change if the structure of a particular crustacean’s arm which appears like a caterpillar properly armored, could be incorporated in the design of body armors. The mantis shrimp club, a four inch long crustacean, which appears like a fist, is capable of accelerating underwater at speeds greater than that of a 22-caliber bullet. If the creature keeps on repeating its blows, it can easily destroy crab exoskeletons and mollusk shells. The crab exoskeletons and mollusk shells have been under study for the past few decades because of their resistance to impacts.
The mantis shrimp has enormous power, and it is capable of withstanding 50,000 high-velocity strikes which it inflicts upon its prey throughout its lifespan. This may easily be compared to bullet strikes numbering around 50,000, which is absolutely amazing. The club, through which the mantis shrimp inflicts the blows, consists of three specialized sections or regions with a complex structure that is much tougher and stronger than several engineered ceramics. It would be absolutely a great achievement if this complex structure could be put to use in the manufacture of tactical body armor.
The 1st region which is present at the surface of the club where the impact takes place is made of minerals of high concentration similar to that of a human bone. The 2nd layer consists of rotated chitin fibers, highly organized and mineral dispersed which absorbs the energy of the stress waves upon impact. The last layer consists of slanted chitin layers which encapsulate the club providing protection during the impacts.
The club of the creature has been found to be tough, lightweight, stiff, impact tolerant and is equally resistant to shocks. Surely this can be regarded as one of the most important discoveries which could lead to huge advancements in engineering of body armors.
The application of the working mechanism of the club is widespread as the product manufactured would be of less weight and will provide superior resistance to impacts. The force with which the mantis shrimp strikes is about 1,000 more than the actual weight of the creature. The mantis shrimp can break an aquarium glass with its impact. The team received a staggering $590,000 from the authorities to carry on with their research so that they can come up with an armor never seen before.
Another feature of this remarkable creature is that the acceleration of its club helps in bubble formation by shearing the water. The result is a secondary impact which further weakens the prey. The authorities are eagerly waiting for the arrival of body armor set to change the whole idea behind armor manufacturing.
Category: Press Releases