Researchers have just created a new material that is lighter than metal plating. This is called composite metal foam (CMF), which is so tough that it can reduce bullets into dust upon impact.

The material was created by a North Carolina State University engineer named Afsaneh Rabiei, who has been working on variations of CMFs for a few years. Her most recent research shows that the foam is able to absorb 60 to 70 per cent of the total kinetic energy of a projectile.

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Check out a demonstration of the material in action in the video!

Rabiei’s research shows that the CMF is effective against X-rays, gamma rays, and neutron radiation. Earlier this year, Rabiei also demonstrated how efficiently it handles heat and fire.

CMF is non-toxic, which means it’s easier to manufacture and recycle. Beyond military applications, this material could be applied to construct secure nuclear waste facilities, or used for spacecrafts or even medical equipment.

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