Recently, a research team at Rice University has created a special structure with some kind of defensive capability,media reported. It is reported that the team used 3D printing technology to create a grid-shaped polymer cube, although it looks “a lot of holes” but in fact it proved to be almost as hard as a diamond, it can effectively block bullets.
It is understood that the starting point of this experimental material is tubulane. The material, first conceived in 1993, is a complex structure made up of cross-linked carbon nanotubes that, according to calculations, have incredible strength. Now, thanks to 3D printing technology, there are some interesting possibilities in addition to the intensity.
“There are many theoretical systems that people can’t integrate,” said lead author Seyed Mohammad Sajadi. They are still unrealistic and elusive. But with 3D printing, we can take advantage of the predicted mechanical properties because they are the result of topology rather than size. “
It is reported that rice university engineers used the theory behind tubulane to create different kinds of blocks using computer simulation software and then use 3D-printed polymer versions to observe its performance.
The performance of these enlarged lattice structures was tested along with solid cubes made of the same polymer material, and the results were encouraging. When the team asked bullets to shoot at 5.8 kilometers per second, the results showed that they were 10 times more efficient at absorbing shockthane than ordinary cubes.
“The bullet is stuck on the second layer of the structure,” Sajadi says, “but in solid blocks, the crack extends to the entire structure.” “
The team also stressed the material in the lab, and the results showed once again the amazing durability of this particular structure, which does not crack under pressure, but instead collapses and absorbs pressure.
According to Sajadi, the size of the tubulane-inspired structure is limited by the size of the 3D printer, and different versions made of metals, ceramics and polymers can be used for a variety of different uses. Now, the team is working to further refine the design to enable it to be applied to civil engineering, aerospace, oil and gas production and other fields.
“The impact resistance of these 3D printed structures makes them unique,” said study co-author Peter Boul.
The research paper has now been published in the journal Small.