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The lightest armor for tanks

06 June 2019, 21:02

   At the moment, heavy steel armor is used for covering military equipment, which, although it provides good protection, significantly reduces the maneuverability of the vehicles. A group of scientists from the University of North Carolina has been dealing with this problem for several years now - several years ago it developed the CMF composite metal foam, which provides the same level of protection but weighs half as much. Recently, researchers have improved armor, slightly changing its structure.
    The secret of strength and lightness of the above armor lies in the structure of the metal plate, which is full of air pockets. The researchers found that by adding armor with several layers of other materials, they can achieve an even greater level of protection. So, having covered the front panel with ceramics, placing CMF metal foam behind it and closing the back part with an aluminum plate, the group created armor against bullets of the 50th caliber and armor-piercing projectiles.
    Bullets of 50 caliber with dimensions of 12.7 × 99 millimeters are commonly used in machine guns and sniper rifles. Despite the fact that their speed reaches 500-885 meters per second, the new type of armor was able to absorb 68-78% of the kinetic energy. In some cases, there were no dents on the rear aluminum part.
    Apart from the fact that armor provides protection from bullets, it also withstands extreme temperatures and blocks radiation. This means that in the future this material will be able to cover not only tanks, but also spaceships. Due to the low weight of armor, they will be as maneuverable and economical as possible for fuel.

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