Next generation armor inspired by animal scales
Gizmag - 02/12/2015
We’ve seen scientists examine everything from the structure of sea sponges to the clubbing ability of mantis shrimps in the search for next generation lightweight armor systems. Researchers at Northeastern University’s College of Engineering believe that fish scales could hold the key to creating armor that’s both impervious and lightweight. They eventually aim to combine the properties of fish, snake and butterfly scales into a single protective armor system.
Fish scales have been studied extensively because of their ability to protect the body while still allowing movement. However most of these studies have focused on the material of the scales and how their plasticity or elasticity alters their protective qualities. Ranajay Ghosh, an associate research scientist, and his colleagues explored a different track. They took a soft substrate and examined how adding scales of a certain size, laid out geometrically, would affect its properties.