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Going Ballistic: ArmorThane Tests Gun Fire Protection With Specialized Cameras

For decades people have been attempting to protect themselves from projectiles. Ballistic protection has evolved from handheld shields made of leather over wooden frames to steel with chain-mail body armor to specialty metals. This technology has progressed as the type and speed of projectiles have also evolved.

History Of Ballistic Testing

In more recent years, the structural composition of armor systems has been shifting towards a multi-layer armored system. For protection purposes, the multi-layer armored system can be employed as a simple way of increasing the number of layers of protective material to meet the need for increased impact resistance and decrease the additional costs associated with engineering modifications. However, this approach also tends to increase the thickness and weight of the garment, causing constraints on movement and strain on the wearer, so the lightweight of protective equipment has been a continuous advancement effort by engineers. The mass effect is an important factor affecting impact resistance, and in the pursuit of lightweight, it also affects the protection capability of ballistic materials. Bulletproof material must have high strength and modulus to protect against shear damage and tensile deformation caused by projectiles during high-speed impacts.

Why It Works
Many studies have proposed using composite materials to achieve the goal of improving impact resistance. ArmorThane's spray-on protective coatings are a perfect example of the type of material that works in conjunction with other materials to create a fully encompassing composite material for ballistic protection. ArmorThane's protective coatings form a seamless barrier while conforming to any shape. The high flexibility of ArmorThane's material eliminates shrapnel and allows no fragmentation. It provides exceptional structural integrity and deflects energy while keeping the structure intact.

How It Works
The polyurea system can be applied to existing components to help reduce the effect of blast shrapnel and small firearms. However, it must be said the polyurea itself is not bulletproof unless applied at a thickness of well over 1-inch.
Using one of a kind camera with an insanely High frame rate (up to 1,100,000fps), CMOS image sensor technology, and extensive high-speed digital imaging, ArmorThane was able to revolutionize how these tests are completed and then analyzed afterward.

The Tests

Various thicknesses of a typical aromatic polyurea elastomer were subjected to impact from various projectiles.

  1. First off, bare concrete bricks were subjected to projectile shots from a .38 Special and 9mm firearm.
  2. Next, the concrete structure was coated in 1/8 inch of ArmorThane's protective coating. Gel blocks were positioned in front of the blocks, and the same guns were shot at the target. This time, the bullet was unable to penetrate the structure, and in fact, it reversed course back into the gel before finally making its final exit out the back end of the block.
  3. The final test was completed using the still coated blocks with the gel blocks removed. This time, the bullet penetrated the coating but could not penetrate the concrete block. This test also showed how protective coatings eliminate the shrapnel and allow no concrete chips or fragmentation.

If you would like more information on ArmorThane's ballistic protection coating material or learn more about the testing process, click here.

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