Body armour has come on leaps and bounds since the days of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of law enforcement and the military. For example, type IV body armour is meant for military exercises and can withstand a shot from an armour-piercing rifle. It’s usually made of layers of metal and fibrous plating.
Well, the latest advancement in the protection world, is armour made from hair? Yes, that’s right – hair. Apparently, our coif is so strong and pliable that it can resist a bullet.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have come up this follicle-focused alternative.
After receiving funding from the Air Force Office of Science Research they went down to the bones of hair structure, looking at the molecular makeup of each strand to better understand its broader potential.
According to a report from The New York Post, “Not only does it have a strength-to-weight ratio that is steel-like, but it also can stretch as much as one and half times its length before snapping.”
Who knew we had such tough stuff stop our heads? Suck it, Superman.
They also found that hair reacts differently to the speed at which its stretched, meaning that, ‘the faster hair is stretched, the stronger it is.’
“Nature creates a variety of interesting materials and architectures in very ingenious ways. We’re interested in understanding the correlation between the structure and the properties of biological materials to develop synthetic materials and designs” Said Marc Meyers, a professor of mechanical engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and the lead author of the study.
We don’t know when our hair will be put into body armour, expectantly – it’s probably a long way away. But this collection of data is in the works and could lead to more than just wearable protection; the possibilities are unbeweavable.
Sorry, we had to.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.