From more powerful body armor to better tasting food, these technologies in development aim to improve the life and safety of military service members.
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Army scientists and engineers have come up with a way to reduce the weight of body armor, a major problem for soldiers exposed to extreme terrains and temperatures. A new manufacturing process has created armor that is 10% lighter -- a breakthrough that is expected to also benefit the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy and Special Operations Command, which have similar body-armor requirements.
"To accomplish this weight reduction, researchers pushed advances in composites, ceramics and component integration," the Army said. All of these materials are necessary to make the armor safe for soldiers, for instance, in stopping a bullet, managing the bullet's momentum and preventing trauma. The next step, according to the Army, is to transfer the "processing technology" to body-armor manufacturers.
Image credit: Conrad Johnson, Army Research, Development and Engineering Command