Use cases ·

Graphene as an additive for synthetic fibers used in bulletproof vests

There are several types of bulletproof vests that, according to their composition, stop different types of projectiles and are organized by levels, but as the level increases they become heavier because of the reinforcements needed.

Graphene as an additive for synthetic fibers used in bulletproof vests

Did you know that the bulletproof vests currently in use are not capable of stopping high-velocity bullets unless they are supplemented with ceramic plates?

This is because ceramic plates require at least 25 millimeters thick to be effective, making them heavy and uncomfortable protective garments.

There are several types of bulletproof vests that, according to their composition, stop different types of projectiles and are organized by levels, but as the level increases they become heavier because of the reinforcements required.

Graphene, with its innumerable properties as a derivative of graphite, promises a viable alternative to this problem when used to make the synthetic fiber used in bulletproof vests. Thanks to research by the University of Massachusetts-Amherts in the United States, we know that microscopic sheets of graphene are 10 times more resistant than macroscopic sheets of steel when shot at a speed of 600 meters per second.

How does graphene work to stop a bullet?

When a tiny bullet was impacted against the graphene sheets, the kinetic energy of the projectile was dissipated by stretching into a cone shape at the point of contact. The molecules of the compound then broke apart and dissipated the energy outward in a radial fashion.

From these results (and others like them) came projects to successfully use graphene as an additive for synthetic fiber used in bulletproof vests.

The goal is to fusion coat the fibers with graphene-based nanocomposites and thermoplastic polymer matrix. This would greatly improve the functionality and design of current personal protective clothing.

Highly resistant and protective

Research carried out in the United States also reveals that graphene sheets are twice as resistant to bullets or projectiles as kevlar, a textile fiber based on a polyamide-type polymer that is currently used in the manufacture of protective clothing, reinforcements, fireproof suits, etc.

In the same vein, but at the City University of New York (CUNY), they worked with graphene sheets to obtain diamene, a material that matches the hardness of diamond.

This is nothing more than two sheets of graphene sandwiched together on a silicon carbide substrate. The result is a material as flexible as silver foil, but as hard as diamond, resistant to impact and punctures.

Studies and tests on this material showed that when impacted, its hardness increases to extreme levels. This is especially true if it is hit by a bullet or projectile in a specific place, just as it would happen in real life.

The future projections of this material in the field of protection and military, are quite promising, although many tests are still missing for graphene to be used in bulletproof vests without risk.

At ESGRAF we are excited to share information, trends and news from the world of carbon and graphite. Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the best coal and graphite news every week.