Bulletproof Kevlar and stainless steel. What do they have in common? They share an extreme strength and hardness, unparalleled by many other substances. In fact, up until this point, bulletproof Kevlar was the hardest organic material ever discovered. Though Israeli researchers have forced Kevlar to take a back seat to a new material which is not only harder than Kevlar, but could one day lead to body armor that is cheaper, lighter and… printable?
The new material is formed into microscopic super strong spheres, ranging in size from about 30 nanometers to two micrometers, which could be used to create a anything from bulletproof armor to stronger, lighter steel. And scientists say that a system might be possible to allow for body armor to be literally printed instead of manufactured. Though don’t expect to see this technology for a while. There are a bunch of pending patents, and research and development continues, but it took almost 20 years for Kevlar to be introduced into practical use. Oddly enough, the material is almost identical to brain plaque linked with Alzheimer’s disease.[via]