One of the most versatile and innovative industries in terms of sustainable production is the body armor industry. In recent years, there have been numerous discoveries of new fully sustainable and/or recyclable materials that can be used in the production of eco-friendly body armor.
Body armor made of Alzheimer chemical components.
For example, as an article by Inhabitat indicates, a new defensive material has been discovered. This material has similar chemical components as the plaque that causes Alzheimer’s disease. And although it is not exactly the same as the substance that causes the disease, the protective layers maintain the same chemical formula.
This material is twice as tough as Aramid. However, when mixed up with Aramid, they form the toughest microscopic organic substance on Earth.
The new material could be used in several applications, including the development of more affordable and lighter body armour. Scientists believe it should be applied to steel to make it stronger, and since it is transparent, it could be also employed to produce bulletproof glass. It would effectively stop a bullet, according to scientists, since only a diamond-tipped knife would cut through it, and you’d need twice the energy to cut through it.
“I think this is an amazing discovery,” said Kenneth Woycechowsky, a scientist at the University of Utah familiar with the research, as stated by Inhabitat, “the rigidity and stiffness of these spheres are unique, and surpasses any other known organic molecule, even Kevlar.” Patents are pending, and the developers hope to see the substance on the market shortly.
Testing fibre-based body armor
In addition to this discovery, an academic article written by Naveen et al., recapitulated in Frontiersin; explores the new incorporation of plant-based materials into the body armor industry. The article draws explicit research into the materials, combinations and equations used to design and test body armor. They indicate that natural fibres could reduce the cost of body armor by up to 70%. They also conclude that natural fibre-based sustainable armour panels are effective in both soft and multilayer hard body armors.
The main point of this research is to show that eco-friendly body armor is possible and might provide better results.
One of the results obtained is that fibre-reinforced polymeric composites’ energy absorption and ballistic limit are almost identical to high-performance aramid fabric composites.
EnGarde Body Armor takes action
In an article at BodyArmorNews, it is stated how EnGarde makes efforts to reduce the carbon footprint in the manufacturing and distribution processes of body armor.
The article explains how EnGarde has taken into account the objectives of the European Commission Green Action Plan in 2014. This plan seeks to reduce environmental impact. One of the biggest advances is using Dyneema®, which produces 30% less carbon footprint than an aramid vest over 10 years.
In addition to reducing the carbon footprint, they capture the energy employed to reuse it in the future. In this way, the manufacturers of EnGarde reduce the impact of excessive energy expenditure on the environment.
As the article explains, Dyneema® has received the 2014 WorldSafe Product Innovation Award from the Safe America Foundation. The reason for this award is because of the technological developments it has brought to the industry.
Importance of awareness
To conclude, we emphasize the importance of becoming aware of and disseminating this information. As Naveen et al. Indicate, at the beginning of their article;
“Increase in awareness towards utilization of eco-friendly materials, encouraged the researchers to find a sustainable alternative to synthetic fibers for different engineering applications.” (Naveen et al. 2020)