The new nanomaterial has the strength of Kevlar and protects from fire

Researchers from Harvard have developed a new type of synthetic fiber that combines the best properties of Kevlar and Twaron. This yet unnamed material has a resistance to penetration of a firearm as Kevlar, but it is 20 times more heat resistant than Twaron. But most importantly, all these properties are implemented in one layer of material, as opposed to the modern multi-layer protection.

From the point of view of materials science, the confrontation between mechanical load and resistance to heat make to the structure of the material diametrically opposite requirements. In the first case, for the redistribution of the kinetic energy of impact you want to have a rigid material with a dense structure. In the second case, the main condition for the dissipation is the presence of large pores in the material.

How to make the material both dense and porous? Technology, which is used by scientists, is called “submerged rotary jet spinning” – the centrifuge rotates and pushes through a very narrow nozzle the molten polymer that enters the liquid, where and solidifies in the form of long, highly ordered filaments, the thickness of which is measured in nanometers. Taken together, these strands form a sheet with a lot of pores in a dense lattice bases.

Pilot plant for the production of a new material creates the leaves measuring about 10 to 30 cm in 10 minutes, but its potential for modernization are much higher. The resulting material is certainly useful in the manufacture of protective gear for firefighters, rescue workers, military personnel and astronauts.

Astronaut gelatin is melted in the flame of the burner, but it protects the new material

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