Nanotechnology : The World Of Nanotechnology

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Nanotechnology in Body Armour
The world of nanotechnology has advanced rapidly in the last decade. The ability to alter particles on an atomic scale has revolutionised many jobs, including the protection of the armed forces. Body armour altered on the nano-scale has the potential to save the lives of many defence personnel. The existing body armour, called Kevlar, is synthetic plastic fibres woven together to form a flexible but strong material. While Kevlar is good at stopping bullets from penetrating the flesh, the resulting blunt force trauma (BFT) is enough to break ribs and, in extreme cases, cause organ damage. This is where nanotechnology excels. The upgraded body armour spreads the impact out to reduce BFT.

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This creates a super strong material known as CNT. Due to the electron configuration of carbon (1s2 2s2 2p2) “Nanotubes are entirely composed of sp2 bonds, which are even stronger than the sp3 bonds found in diamond.” (Devina C, Holly P, & Reem R., 16/2/17). This is why carbon nanotubes are hundreds of times stronger than steel. The silicon dioxide (SiO2) in STF also have strong bonds. Silicon is atomic number 14, meaning that there are four electrons in the valence shell. This combines with oxygen, with an atomic number of 8 and electron configuration of 1s2 2s2 2p2. With silicon needing 4 electrons to be stable, and oxygen needing 2, two oxygens share electrons with one silicon, resulting in two double bonds.

The incredible strength of carbon nanotubes is displayed in diagram 1. The bullet impacts the fabric at approximately 2500 m/s, and after decelerating, bounces off the fabric at approximately 2000 m/s. The once the bullet hits the nanotubes, the deceleration is incredibly quick. The bullet decelerates at approximately -1.56x10^15 m/s/s. It can be assumed that the test fabric hadn’t been used before the experiment. After repetitive ballistic impacts the CNT start to deform, thus reducing their effectiveness in stopping projectiles. This is displayed in the diagram 2. The length of nanotubes also affect their ability to absorb external forces, as shown in
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