Brigham Young University has taken a unique approach to solving a problem for law enforcement. Many departments seek to have protective barriers or shields available in their vehicles. Many are too heavy, too cumbersome, or flat out do not work. BYU has applied the principles of origami to make something truly original.
Their “bulletproof origami” shield is truly one-of-a-kind and based on initial testing, it works! What gives this ballistic shield its rigidity and strength without the bulk of traditional barriers is the yoshimura origami pattern used. Yoshimura origami is a symmetrical design developed from watching cylinders collapse under an axial load. In more simple terms, think of crushing a pop can in a perfectly vertical manner. Your typical curb stomp or party, forehead smash probably will not achieve the yoshimura effect, but we are not dream killers here at TFB, so by all means, “yoshimura” your next Bud Light or Pepsi can!
Most products currently weigh 90 pounds while the origami ballistic shield from BYU is approximately 50 pounds. Also, most shields/barriers only protect one officer while the BYU product can cover two or three. The bullet-proof origami shield uses 12 layers of Kevlar with an aluminum core. Through multiple calculations and testing, 12 was found to be the best number in regards to protection against handgun calibers and being lightweight.
This may not be a product that a police department can give to every officer, but it is definitely innovative. In more unique situations when an officer is responding to an imminent conflict or a part of a special task force where conflicts occur more regularly, this tool could see a lot of use.