Non-Newtonian fluids are made with substances like cornstarch. They are gooey and oozy to a gentle touch, but become as hard as steel when struck.
In an academy lab, Cadet Hayley Weir mixed up batches of her secret formula, a viscous black goo. She says it’s less like science and more like baking a cake.
The substance is put in vacuum-seal bags normally used for leftovers and flattened into a quarter-inch layer.
That is layered into a wafer with Kevlar fabric.
“It’s all about the layering,” Weir said.
A quarter-inch thick design repeatedly stopped a round fired from a 9mm handgun and multiple shots from a 44 magnum.
It could potentially lighten the average 26-pound body armor kit worn by servicemen in the field by as much as two thirds.
It could possibly be used to reduce or replace the thick metal plates that protect military aircraft, tanks and other vehicles.