BAE develops “bullet-proof custard”.


Liquid armor has been in the news quite a few times over the past couple of years. It looks like the technology is progressing nicely. BBC News reports

The BAE scientists describe it as “bullet-proof custard”.

“In standard bullet-proof vests, we use thick, heavy, layered plates of Kevlar that restrict movement and contribute to fatigue,” said Mr Penny.

In the tests, scientists used a large gas gun to fire ball bearing-shaped metal bullets at over 300 metres per second into two test materials – 31 layers of untreated kevlar and 10 layers of kevlar combined with the shear-thickening liquid.

“The Kevlar with the liquid works much faster and the impact isn’t anything like as deep,” he explained.

[ Many thanks to Mik for emailing me the link. ]



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Such a tech could cause problems during winter time; you don’t want something liquid on your body if you experience freezing temperatures.
    That might both be too cold for the user and problematic in regard to ballistic properties.

  • SpudGun

    The concept of using Non-Newtonian liquids as a bullet resistant material has been around for a while now, but no one seems to have gotten it right. I will be keeping an eye on this to see if it’s the next big breakthrough or just BAE vapor spin.

  • JonMac

    If you watch some of the videos, it’s a *very* viscous liquid. They’ve made it into floppy plates for sporting use – no reason to think they haven’t considered environmental issues re military applications (which being BAE, is what this is mainly geared toward).

  • 300 meters per second is still a long ways from the speed of most rifle projectiles. Interesting technology, however.

  • B Woodman

    Chocolate or vanilla?

  • Alan

    Why use a fancy gas gun, when you could use an actual gun?

  • James

    This gel isnt water, or water based, so its heat capacity and change properties are completely different. Since it is a stable gel ready for testing, I am going to hazard a guess that its freezing point is well below zero. And as long as it is in gel form, coldness would not impact the ballistic properties.
    The bullet-resistance comes from the impact of the projectile, which basically “shocks” the whole gel rigid.

  • Lance

    Dose it come in Chocolate??? LOL

  • DJ

    They use a fancy gas gun because they need repeatable results (as little variation in speed as possible).

  • shockfish08

    This stuff is expensive and quite hard to manufacture as I’ve heard, not so ideal for full military adoption as of now. Does anybody remember that crazy canadian inventor Troy Hurtubiese who made a foam armor that could stop everythang from 9mm up to 7.62x51mm NATO and even 12 Ga sabbot slugs from point blank? Maybe we should look into that, apparently it was really light, easy to manufacture and the biggest part of the armor (the torso section) would only would run up to around $500.00 (estimated of course).