Liquid Body Armor and Shear Thickening Fluids

Duncan Price


This experiment investigated the practicality of using shear thickening fluids as a supplement to traditional body armor. Using a rotary puncture device, we tested the resistive qualities of various fabrics before and after being impreg- nated with the properties of a shear thickening fluid. Both nylon and Kevlar were treated using a nanoparticle suspension consisting of silica nanoparticles and polyethylene glycol. The fabrics were struck with rotational velocities be- tween 1.0 and 7.0 m/s, and experienced punctures between 0 and 10 cm. After analyzing the data, we concluded that although treatment does appear to in- crease the strength of the fabric, it is not certain if said strengthening is due to the shear thickening properties of the nanoparticle suspension or some other factor.