The Army’s next body armor may get stronger the harder it’s hit

Army researchers are currently working on new body armor that is lightweight, more durable and provides better protection than what’s currently in the marketplace.

Made using a polymer known as poly urethane urea elastomers (PUU), the next generation of body armor is touted to be 15 times stronger than steel but as flexible as any fabric. Materials made with PUUs last longer and work harder, bouncing back after high-speed impacts. The harder it’s hit, the stronger it gets.

Still in the research phase, potential applications include transparent face shields, mandible face shields, ballistic vests, extremity protective gear, and blast-resistant combat boots. A reorganization of the Army’s procurement processes may mean the armor is fast-tracked if the research proves successful.

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