Armor: Another Innovation Bubbles To The Surface

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July 31, 2016: There appears to be another breakthrough in armor protection. The new one is CMF (Composite metal foam) that is produced by bubbling gas through molten metal to a lightweight metal matrix. CMF was first introduced in 2015 as a lightweight solution to blocking various types of radiation. This would be useful for space satellites. But since then the developers have found that CMF can also stop high speed bullets, including the armor piercing type. This would not only solve the problem of heavy body armor but also the weight problems created as armor is added to unarmored vehicles or to enhance the armor protection on already armored vehicles.

The last major advances in armor protection occurred during the Cold War. This began with ceramics and their use in composite armor (Chobham Armor) on tanks. About the same time ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) appeared. Both of these innovations revolutionized armor protection for tanks. Now another revolution may be in the works. This one will probably be seen first in more effective body armor for infantry as well smaller combat vehicles.

 


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